Named after the late Minnesota governor who was a strong supporter of the annual event, the award is given annually to current or former public employees or elected officials who have exhibited dedication and service to the event.
This year, Joe Tarnowski and Phil Olsen are being recognized for their longtime contributions to Grandma’s Marathon.
Tarnowski has been involved with Grandma’s Marathon as part of the communications team, as the DECC operations director, and as a liaison to law enforcement, working with the Duluth Police Department on race weekend.
Olsen began working with Grandma’s as a paramedic and has volunteered in the medical tent for decades. He also works event security leading up to and after Grandma’s Marathon.
Tarnowski and Olsen will receive their awards at a breakfast ceremony on Thursday, June 20th at 7:00 a.m. at the Radisson Hotel in Duluth.
The 14th annual Rudy Perpich Public Service Award Breakfast is the first of many events being held during Grandma’s Marathon weekend, presented by Members Cooperative Credit Union and Toyota. The Essentia Health Fitness Expo begins at 4:00 p.m. on June 20 and continues all day on Friday, June 21.
Other Friday events include the Michelina’s All-You-Can-Eat Spaghetti Dinner, the Whipper Snapper Races for Kids, the William A. Irvin 5K, and live entertainment in Canal Park featuring Phil Vassar with special guests Rhino and more.
The Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon and Grandma’s Marathon are Saturday, June 22.