Gearing Up Saturday

     If you’re planning a spring road race, marathon or shorter, and need some training advice, the annual Gearing Up For Grandma’s seminar is free Saturday morning in Duluth. Featured speakers are Minnesota runners Antonio Vega and Jennifer Houck. It’s 9 a.m. at St. Mary’s Duluth Clinic First Street Building and there are breakfast treats. Here’s a release from Grandma’s Marathon:

Join SMDC Health System, the Duluth News Tribune and Grandma’s Marathon for this free event from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. Saturday in SMDC Health System’s First Street Building at 420 East First Street.

The event’s featured guest speaker is Antonio Vega, the winner of the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships. The 26-year-old captured the half marathon national title last month in Houston setting a personal best time of 1 hour, 1 minute and 54 seconds, while topping a field full of the country’s fastest half marathoners.

A graduate of Tartan High School (Oakdale, Minn.), Vega ran collegiately at the University of Minnesota and has been a Team USA Minnesota member since 2007.

Also appearing at Gearing Up for Grandma’s is former College of St. Scholastica standout Jennifer Houck of Duluth. She placed 15th at the 2010 USA Half Marathon Championships (1:15:55) and has placed consistently high at the past three Garry Bjorklund Half Marathons (2007-5th, 2008-7th, 2009-11th).

Vega and Houck are both ‘gearing up’ for big races of their own. The Minnesotans are preparing to make their Boston Marathon debuts in April.