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

COVID-19: City of Parksville announces gradual re-opening plan

Sports courts and playgrounds to open June 5

Search and rescue crews help locate 62-year-old Nanoose Bay mountain biker

RCMP: Man got lost on trail and did right thing by calling for assistance

RCMP: Parksville cyclist hurt after being clipped by passing vehicle

59-year-old man suffered minor injuries; driver failed to stop

COVID-19: RDN utility bills in the mail, deadline extended

Residents given until Sept. 8 to settle accounts

If Trudeau won’t stand up to Trump, how will regular people: Singh

Trudeau did not directly answer a question about Trump’s actions amid protests

VIDEO: Internal investigation into aggressive arrest by Kelowna Mountie

A video allegedly shows a Kelowna Mountie striking a man several times

Greater Victoria drive-thru window smashed after man receives burger without mustard

Greater Victoria Wendy’s staff call police after man allegedly rips Plexiglas barrier off window

Facing changes together: Your community, your journalists

The COVID-19 pandemic has changed the world in ways that would have… Continue reading

Woman fights off attacker while jogging in Port Alberni

RCMP look for witnesses of daytime incident

22 new COVID-19 test-positives, one death following days of low case counts in B.C.

Health officials urged British Columbians to ‘stand together while staying apart’

Murder charge upgraded in George Floyd case, 3 other cops charged

Floyd’s family and protesters have repeatedly called for criminal charges against all four officers

Gold River ready to welcome visitors and restart local businesses

In contrast to single-industry remote communities, Gold River’s diversified economy might help it better survive after reopening

Feds get failing grade for lack of action plan on anniversary of MMIWG report

‘Instead of a National Action Plan, we have been left with a Lack-of-Action Plan’

Most Read