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Jerry Thoreson has been named the 2024 recipient of Grandma's Marathon's prestigious Marsh Nelson Media Award.

Thoreson has been involved with covering the event since the late 1990s, when he worked in the composing room at the Duluth News Tribune. He remembers watching the race from the skywalk that was connected to the newspaper’s offices, overlooking the final stretch on Superior Street before participants made the turn for Canal Park and the finish line.

For the past decade, Thoreson has served as the managing director of Destination Duluth, a digital marketing company created to foster a connected, vibrant, and growing city of Duluth.

“We are different than local media,” Thoreson said of their work at Destination Duluth. “Most of our audience are outside the area, and we’re able to produce nearly 4 million positive impressions of Grandma’s Marathon each year to that group of people. We’re helping to grow the event’s impact, purpose, and scope.”

Thoreson and Destination Duluth also managed the event’s staff photographers for several years, including a trial Facebook Live feed of the finish line in 2017 that yielded nearly 1.5 million views.

While he admits he was initially hesitant to accept this award, Thoreson is proud of the work Destination Duluth has done with the marathon and eager to extend the now formal partnership between the two entities.

“We get to share the spirit of the race and showcase the unique qualities of a marathon this size on the shores of Lake Superior,” he said. “We’re doing what we were meant to do – helping to foster a spirit of accomplishment and pride in Duluth, with its small-town charm, hosting a world-class event.”

Named after longtime KDLH-TV sports director Marsh Nelson, this award is given annually to a media member or organization to recognize and celebrate a longstanding commitment to the coverage and development of Grandma’s Marathon.

Thoreson will officially be presented with his award on Friday, June 21 at the 2024 Grandma’s Marathon Awards Luncheon at The Garden Event Center in Duluth.

-- Grandma's Marathon press release