• KP Challenge
          • The KP Challenge is a series of three great, local races — Saint Fennessy 4K, Fitger’s 5K, and Park Point 5-Miler — that are strategically placed throughout the year to help participants build their endurance and stick to a regular training schedule.

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    • Saint Fennessy 4K
    • Fitger’s 5K
    • Park Point 5-Miler & 2-Mile Walk
    • Minnesota Mile
    • North End Nightmare 5K
    • Youth Races
    • Volunteer
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            Our tremendous community of volunteers plays a significant role in helping the Young Athletes Foundation to create memorable and successful events for our runners. More than 1,000 volunteers are needed throughout the year to support our fundraising race events for the YAF.

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    • Sponsors
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            The Young Athletes Foundation was created to serve the community, and for more than three decades we have done that with the help of our local and regional business partners. With events throughout the year, our sponsors assist greatly in our mission of  providing pathways of opportunity to youth in athletic programs and encouraging healthy lifestyles.

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    • Charity Runners
          • Our kids. Our community. Our future.

            Do you want to run for free AND add more meaning to your miles Sign up ahead of Grandma’s Marathon weekend to be a charity runner for the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), and your success in reaching the finish line can help someone else reach theirs.

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  • VISIT Grandma's Marathon

Scholarship Program


This scholarship program is named after Eleanor Rynda, the first woman in the country to coach a collegiate men’s cross country and track and field program. In 1966, Rynda started the first women’s track and field team at the University of Minnesota Duluth (UMD), and for more than two decades following she coached both men’s and women’s cross country and track and field teams for the Bulldogs.

Rynda also coached the North Shore Striders Running Club, which is the founding group of Grandma’s Marathon.

Rynda passed away in 2016 after a battle with cancer, and the Young Athletes Foundation (YAF) is proud to continue this scholarship in her name and memory.

To be eligible for the scholarship, student-athletes must be either a sophomore, junior, or senior on the UMD cross country team. The scholarship is also only available to runners who grew up within the YAF’s five-county geographic region.

Since its beginning and through the year 2020, the Eleanor Rynda Scholarship program has awarded nearly $30,000 in scholarships to local collegiate runners.

NOTE: Because of NCAA regulations and to protect the privacy of student-athletes who have received the scholarship, the names of past recipients are not made public.


This scholarship program was created by longtime Grandma’s Marathon supporter Carolyn Mather to honor her late husband, Steve, and his love of the sport of running.

Two $1,000 scholarships will be awarded annually. The program is meant to assist high school senior track and field and cross country athletes who plan to continue their careers at the collegiate level.

To be eligible for the scholarship, applicants must:

  • Be a 2024 graduating senior from a high school located in the Young Athletes Foundation’s five-county region of Carlton, Cook, Douglas, Lake, and St Louis Counties
  • Have been accepted to attend an accredited college, university, or technical/vocational school for fall 2024
  • Plan on participating in track and field or cross country during their freshman year at college


The Young Athletes Foundation (YAF), the charity arm of Grandma’s Marathon, was created in 1990 to assist with the promotion and development of healthy and active lifestyles for youth throughout Carlton, Cook, Douglas, Lake, and St. Louis Counties. Since its inception, the YAF has donated more than $1.3 million to the community’s youth athletic, recreational, and nonprofit organizations.

If you are interested in volunteering for any of our Young Athletes Foundation (YAF) events or have any other questions, please contact our Program Director Alivia Nelson via email at [email protected] or call our office at (218) 727-0947.