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Grandma's Marathon 2020 canceled due to COVID-19

The popular Duluth event has been pushed back to 2021.

This year's Grandma's Marathon in Duluth has been canceled due to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

The news was confirmed on Tuesday morning, with the event scheduled for the weekend of June 19-20 canceled outright rather than being postponed.

"This is not the news that we wanted to be sharing with our running community, but after very careful deliberation, we have made the extremely difficult decision to cancel the 2020 Grandma’s Marathon Race Weekend of events," organizers wrote.

"The staff and board of Grandma’s Marathon along with our medical and public agency leaders believe this is the responsible action to take in an effort to keep everyone safe during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and not take valuable resources away from our local health system.

"The health and safety of our participants, volunteers, sponsors, spectators, staff and community remains our top priority. We know this news is very disappointing, and all of us at Grandma’s Marathon feel the same, but we know that this is for the best."

It's the first time since the marathon launched in 1977 that it's been canceled, and all who entered will get a 20 percent discount towards the 2021 Grandma's Marathon weekend race of their choice.

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Grandma's will also be holding a 2020 Virtual Race, which will challenge competitors to run their race "wherever you want, whenever you want" before July 31, providing them with a printable race bib.

Runners can then upload their times and provide an official finisher certificate, a finisher shirt and a medal.

Entry fees already taken by Grandma's will be converted to a donation, allowing competitors to claim it as a tax write-off, with receipts set to be issued between Apr. 13 and May 13.

"By making this difficult decision to announce the cancellation now, we hope to relieve some of the pressure that you are feeling during this stressful time of uncertainty," Grandma's added.

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