Athletics: Monica Halligan inducted into Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame
Fifth of Six Inductees Planned for Class of 2022
(DULUTH, MINN.) --- Monica Halligan has been inducted into the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame, the fifth of six individuals set to be enshrined as the Class of 2022 after making longstanding and meaningful contributions to the race and community.
Halligan, who passed away in November 2020 after a short but fierce battle with colon cancer, was a volunteer on Grandma’s Marathon weekend for more than four decades.
“I can think of no one more deserving of this induction than Monica,” Finance & Operations Director Linda Hanson said. “For years, she organized and had a hand in placing every single balloon from Two Harbors to Duluth. How she pulled it off every year in the time allotted is an absolute miracle.”
Halligan often employed the help of her children, Josh and Rachel, and together they prepared and placed balloons and pennants in nearly every significant location of Grandma’s Marathon weekend.
“That included the start lines, along the racecourse, the expo, the spaghetti dinner, and of course the iconic arches at the finish line,” Hanson said. “Those, actually, are now called ‘Monica’s Arches’ and as long as there’s helium in this world, those arches will be running every year across Canal Park Drive.”
After Halligan’s passing, her children chose to continue what she started with Grandma’s Marathon and in 2021 delivered the same balloons and pennants as always for race weekend.
“Until you do it yourself, you don’t realize how much work she did,” Rachel said of her mom. “She did so much behind the scenes that we never knew about. It’s a lot, and I don’t know how she ever did it.”
“We always said we ran our own marathon,” her son, Josh, said of the group’s preparation for the race. “There are always a lot of sleepless nights leading up to it, but my sister and I are glad we can keep doing the event and keep our mom’s spirit alive that way.”
Halligan was officially inducted into the Grandma’s Marathon Hall of Fame during a virtual ceremony with both Josh and Rachel attending, and she joins Rick Recker, Jim Greenfield, Dick Skogg, and Glenn Evavold as the announced members of the six-person Class of 2022.
The one remaining member 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 ahead of 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 Halligan’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 Zach@GrandmasMarathon.com.
Monica Halligan 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.