Grandma’s Marathon 2018 award recipients announced

Grandma’s Marathon’s offices are located next to the finish line in Canal Park. Staff photo / Twin Ports News

Grandma’s Marathon has announced the recipients of its annual Ron Daws Ambassador Award, Award of Excellence, Don Fennessy Volunteer of the Year Award, Scott A. Keenan Founder’s Award, and the 2018 Hall of Fame class.

In 1993, Grandma’s Marathon began the Ron Daws Ambassador Award in honor of the Minnesota native and 1968 Olympian who was a great ambassador to Grandma’s Marathon and the city of Duluth. Daws was instrumental in the development of road racing in Minnesota until he passed away in 1992. The award is presented each year to an individual who has been a leader in the growth of long-distance running and who has a shared commitment to Grandma’s Marathon and Duluth. Patricia Goodwin is this year’s Ron Daws Ambassador Award winner. Goodwin is the founder and president of Team USA Minnesota, and provides support during Grandma’s Marathon weekend for the Team USA Minnesota elite distance runners.

The Award of Excellence is given annually to an individual(s) or group in recognition of dedication, commitment and service to Grandma’s Marathon. Peter Kolar and David Solon from Kolar Toyota, along with Jim Kari from Kari Toyota are this year’s recipients of the Award of Excellence. They have supported Grandma’s Marathon for the past 28 years providing numerous courtesy vehicles as well as serving as the official pace vehicle of the marathon.

The Don Fennessy Volunteer of the Year Award is given annually to an individual or group of individuals who have donated a tremendous amount of time volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon and in doing so have assisted in the smooth and successful operation of the event. This year’s recipients are Doug and Peggy Simensen. Doug and Peggy have been volunteering for Grandma’s Marathon for about 38 years.

The Scott A. Keenan Founder’s Award honors an exemplary person who embodies the history, vision and spirit of Grandma’s Marathon through their chosen area of contribution. The 2018 award will be presented to Mike Krois at the T-Mobile Post-Race Reception on June 16. Krois serves as president and co-owner of Voyageur Bus Company, which has provided bus transportation to the starting line for approximately 15,000 runners on race morning over the last few decades. Contributing greatly to Grandma’s Marathon sustainability efforts by reducing the environmental footprint of the event, Voyageur Bus Company also provides shuttle service back to local hotels, campuses and area towns.

The 2018 Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame Inductees include Lizette Mitchell, Deanna Nordeen and Jeff Frey. This year’s recipients are being recognized for their countless contributions to the success of Grandma’s Marathon including their many years of volunteerism and coverage of the weekend events.

In addition to these annual awards, Grandma’s Marathon will be honoring the fifth runner to receive the prestigious Thousand Miler Award, Dr. James Kirkham. He will receive the 39-year runner buckle at the awards ceremony alongside the Hall of Famers.

A total of 18,972 participants are registered to compete in this weekend’s races, presented by Members Cooperative Credit Union and Toyota.

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