The big marathons of the world – the likes of Boston, New York, and even India’s very own Mumbai Marathon – always have great stories to tell. But it’s often the lesser-known runs that bring out the best human interest pieces. So is the case with the Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. We don’t blame you for not knowing about the race, but it’s already given us a very touching story about a father-daughter duo attempting to make it more memorable, for themselves and others.
Randy and Megan Back of Superior, Minnesota aim to start the marathon side by side, and also finish it that way. What makes it memorable is that Back senior will be running his 100th marathon, while Megan will be going for his first ever marathon. “I saved my 100th for my daughter,” Randy Back told the Superior Telegram. “It’s my 100th and her first.”
The father-daughter duo has run other races together, but never a marathon. They decided to run Grandma’s together since it was the first marathon that Randy ran in, way back in 1980. It’s been 35 years of running for the 58-year-old since then, who has also finished 80km and 160km ultramarathons during those years.
For young Megan, 5Ks, 10Ks and half marathons, have been the norm. And as is obvious, her father has been the coach and motivator. “He’s told me a lot, and through our training we’ve had a lot of time for him to tell me stories about his ultras and Grandma’s,” Megan told the publication. “We’ve hit weird obstacles on the way, so a lot of good lessons.”
Obstacles came in the form of leg pain and on-the-job hard lessons about staying properly fueled, hydrated and motivated. “From her standpoint they seem like obstacles, but that’s part of everything I’ve had to deal with over 35 years of running,” Randy is quoted as saying. “I’m telling her, ‘This isn’t that unusual. You just have to do this, that and the other thing and it will clear up.'”
“I lost a couple of toenails through my previous half marathons,” Megan added. “But none through this training so far, and I’m kind of happy about that.”
Main Image: Randy and Megan Back | Superior Telegram