Athletics: Jim Greenfield Inducted Into Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame
Second of Six Inductees Planned for Class of 2022
(DULUTH, MINN.) --- Jim Greenfield has been inducted into the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame, the second of six individuals set to be enshrined as the Class of 2022 after making longstanding and meaningful contributions to the race and community.
Greenfield, who passed away in July 2021 after an eight-year battle with prostate cancer, was a volunteer on Grandma’s Marathon weekend for more than four decades. He began his tenure updating results and serving on the pre-race setup and post-race cleanup crew and eventually, in 1993, took over as a primary media vehicle driver.
“Jim is exactly the type of person that has made it possible for Grandma’s Marathon to grow into what it is today,” Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider said. “He always showed up and was willing to do whatever was needed, and he’ll be dearly missed as part of our race day media team.”
Greenfield’s wife, Elaine, was also a longtime race weekend volunteer and worked in the race packet distribution center. Once he transitioned behind the wheel, he was often joined by his two grandchildren.
“He actually had the hardest job out there on the course, I’d say,” his son, Steve, said of his dad driving the women’s marathon media vehicle. “Most of the vehicles were ahead of the lead men’s runners, and there was nothing in front of them. When you drive the lead women’s car, though, you’re not only having to look behind you but also in front of you to weave through some of the other men’s runners.”
Greenfield’s love of Grandma’s Marathon was also passed to his daughter, Linda Spencer, who 15 times has completed the 26.2-mile race and also has several times run the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon. In 2015, she designed and created a 5-by-7 foot quilt for Jim made out of Grandma’s Marathon shirts from across nearly four decades.
“He enjoyed everything about it, from volunteering to cheering on the runners to the post-race celebration,” Linda said. “He was proud of Grandma’s Marathon and what it had accomplished.”
Greenfield was officially inducted into the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony with both Steve and Linda attending, and he joins Rick Recker as the two announced members of the six-person Class of 2022.
“He knew just before he died that he was going to be part of this Hall of Fame,” Steve said. “On behalf of our father and our entire family, it’s quite a tribute and we very much appreciate this honor.”
The rest of the Class of 2022, which will be the largest since the Hall of Fame’s inaugural year in 1996, will be named and inducted virtually throughout the buildup to Grandma’s Marathon weekend, set for June 16-18. After all six members are officially inducted, the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame will be made up of 85 individuals, organizations, and municipalities.
A video of Greenfield’s official induction ceremony can be viewed at the link below. For any other interview requests or questions, please contact Marketing & Public Relations Director Zach Schneider at (218) 343-9874 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jim Greenfield HOF Ceremony:
ABOUT GRANDMA’S MARATHON
Grandma’s Marathon began in 1977 when a group of local runners planned a scenic road race from Two Harbors to Duluth, Minnesota. There were just 150 participants that year, but organizers knew they had discovered something special. Grandma’s Marathon weekend draws approximately 20,000 participants for its three-race event each June.
The race got its name from the Duluth-based group of famous Grandma’s Restaurants, the first major sponsor of the Marathon. Over time, the level of sponsorship with the restaurants changed, but the name stayed the same. Grandma’s Marathon-Duluth, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit organization with a 17-member Board of Directors and a nine-person, full-time staff.