36TH GRANDMA'S MARATHON
When and where: Saturday, Two Harbors to Duluth
Start times: Marathon, 7:45 a.m. Dick Beardsley Half Marathon, 6:45 a.m. The USA Half Marathon Championships begin at 6:15 a.m. (men) and 6:25 a.m. (women).
Entrants: Marathon, 7,641. Half marathon, 7,628. There are 1,939 registered for Friday night's 5K.
Prize money: $100,000. Marathon winners get $10,000. USA Half Marathon Championships prize money is $82,000, with winners getting $12,000.
Course records: Men, Dick Beardsley, 2:09:37, 1981. Women, Fira Sultanova, 2:27:05, 2003.
Defending champions: Christopher Kipyego (men) and Yihunlish Delelecha (women). Kipyego, 38, of Kenya, and Delelecha, 30, of Ethiopia, set personal bests on the Grandma's course a year ago -- Kipyego (2:12:17, ninth best in race history) and Delelecha (2:30:39, sixth best in race history).
Top challengers: Assefa Girma, 31, of Ethiopia ran 2:07:43 at the 2011 Paris Marathon, and countryman Chala Lemi, 25, ran 2:08:49 at the 2009 Toronto Marathon. On the women's side, Mulu Seboka, 27, of Ethiopia has the best PR, 2:25:45 run earlier this year in Dubai.
Half-marathon stars: Two Olympians head the USA Championships field. Abdi Abdirahman and Kara Goucher, a former Duluth high school star, will represent the U.S. in the Olympic marathons in London and are running the half marathons. Abdirahman has a PR of 1:00:29 and Goucher's best is 1:06:57.
Weather forecast: Temperatures in the low 60s; 40 percent chance of rain.