Douglas Delipper and Duncan Magnus (right) at the end of their at-home version of the Boston Marathon on Sunday April 19th in their Willoughby neighbourhood. special to Langley Advance Times)

VIDEO: After the Boston Marathon got postponed, two B.C. runners held their own race

How two Langley runners who qualified for the Boston Marathon staged a home-grown event

Duncan Magnus said the idea for a virtual marathon came to him while he was mulling over the Boston Marathon, the prestige running event the Langley runner had qualified for, only to see it postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak.

“I was sitting at home Saturday night (April 18th) and thinking it sucks, not to be going to Boston,” Magnus related.

First run in 1897, the 42.2 kilomtre Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world, held on Patriots Day, the third Monday of April, every year.

But with the novel coronavirus spreading through the United States and across the globe, marathon officials, along with state and local officials decided to postpone the race, scheduled for April 20th, until September 14th of this year.

Magnus wouldn’t be able to go in September.

Months of training and countless kilometres of roadwork were, it seemed, all for nothing,

But then, inspiration struck.

His wife had done a “virtual marathon” once, which gave Magnus an idea. Why not hold an “at home” version of the Boston race?

He texted a fellow Langley runner Douglas Delipper, who had also qualified for Boston and was also having trouble staying motivated after the postponement was announced.

READ ALSO: Langley sports groups suffer widespread shutdowns due to COVID-19

“That’s a little crazy,” Delipper recalled as his first reaction to the notion of a do-it-yourself marathon.

“Then I thought about it [and said] ‘let’s do it.’”

The very next day, on Sunday morning (April 19th) the two runners set out from their Willoughby neighborhood, near 73rd Avenue and 202nd Street, following a route that took them to Derby Reach Park, then the Fort to Fort Trail along the Fraser River to the Trinity Western University campus and back.

READ ALSO: LAPS annual Furry Tails race goes virtual this April

Since there would be no water or snack stations along the way, they carried what they needed in back packs.

Roughly three hours and 45 minutes later, they returned to their neighbourhood, where they were greeted by a small group of cheering friends and family membersas they crossed the finish line and broke the tape simultaneously.

“We weren’t going for time,” Delipper explained, adding it was a pretty good performance “considering it came after two months of [virtually] no running.”

Magnussaid he was more tired than he expected to be, but happy to have done it.

“You can do something special even if you don’t do it the way you originally planned,” Magnus commented. commented.

At the end of their run, the two runners did a social-distancing version of a fist bump, carefully separated by several feet, and were presented with hand-crafted “at home Boston Marathon” medals made by their children.



dan.ferguson@langleyadvancetimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

CoronavirusLangley

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Duncan Magnus (left) and Douglas Delipper crossed the finish line at the end of their at-home version of the Boston Marathon on Sunday April 19th in their Willoughby neighbourhood. special to Langley Advance Times)

Just Posted

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Morning start: Rossland is named after this person

Here is your Kootenays’ morning start for Friday, May 22

Snow expected to hit West Kootenay passes overnight on Thursday

Up to 15 cm of snow could fall on Highway 3 between Paulson summit to Kootenay Pass by Friday morning

Construction for New Denver child care centre on time and on budget

The child care centre is set to open on September 8 at Lucerne Elementary School

Creston flour mills overwhelmed by COVID-19 demand

Flour shortage highlights region’s grain insecurity

LIVE: Procession to honour Snowbirds Capt. Jennifer Casey comes to Halifax

Snowbirds service member died in a crash in Kamloops one week ago

RCMP facing ‘systemic sustainability challenges’ due to provincial policing role

Provinces, territories and municipalities pay anywhere from 70 to 90 per cent of the cost of the RCMP’s services

One man dead after standoff with Chilliwack RCMP

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the RCMP’s role in the death

B.C. employers worry about safety, cash flow, second wave in COVID-19 restart

A survey found 75 per cent of businesses worry about attracting customers

Ex-BC Greens leader Andrew Weaver says province came close to early election

Disagreement centred on the LNG Canada project in northern B.C.

Canada’s NHL teams offer options to season-ticket holders

Canadian teams are offering refunds, but also are pushing a number of incentives to let them keep the money

B.C. premier says lessons to learn from past racism during response to pandemic

B.C. formally apologized in the legislature chamber in 2008 for its role in the Komagata Maru tragedy

Snowbirds to remain at Kamloops Airport indefinitely after fatal crash

small contingent of the Snowbirds team is staying in Kamloops, acting as stewards of the jets

Oak Bay man stumbles upon eagle hunting seal, grabs camera just in time

The eagle did ‘a perfect butterfly stroke to shore’ with its prey, photographer says

Most Read