The 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.
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.
YOUNG ATHLETES FOUNDATION
The 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 $1.1 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.