The Lemon Drop restaurant sign appears in this June 1981 photo. (Karl Jaros / News-Tribune)
Lemon Drop Hill is as much a part of Grandma’s Marathon as the annual race’s finish line on Canal Park Drive. The marathon’s 33rd running takes place Saturday.
The hill, which sits near 26th Avenue East on London Road in Duluth, was named after the Lemon Drop restaurant, which used to reside at 2631 London Rd. until it closed during the expansion of Interstate 35 around 1990.
News Tribune reporters Kevin Pates and Mark Stodghill have each taken credit for the name, Pates said.
He made reference to the hill in a Grandma’s Marathon race story in 1983 “when England’s Gerry Helme won and was in a battle with American John Tuttle. Tuttle made a move on Lemon Drop Hill, just past the 22-mile mark, but Helme caught him with less than two miles remaining.”
The reporters, both avid runners, took a cue from the Boston Marathon’s famed Heartbreak Hill, which rests at about the 21-mile mark.
More photos of the area around the Lemon Drop restaurant can be found at a previous Attic post from March 23, 2008.