Upper Michigan runners participate in ‘virtual’ Boston Marathon

Runner holds up Boston Marathon banner for virtual race in Marquette.
Runner holds up Boston Marathon banner for virtual race in Marquette.(WLUC)
Published: Sep. 13, 2020 at 8:43 PM EDT
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The Boston Marathon was postponed back in April until September due to the coronavirus. Unfortunately, conditions still weren’t okay, so the marathon was made virtual, meaning runners will do a marathon and report their own times. 4 Michigan runners competed Saturday morning in Marquette County.

Running the Marquette Marathon track, Bill Sved, Kara Graci, Karen Nelson, and Peter Wertanen ran the Boston Marathon virtually.

“Everything has been canceled this year for the most part, so this was something I was really looking forward to doing and getting together,” said Nelson. “Bill, Peter, and I have done this race before. Kara, I just met her for the first time, so it’s exciting to do it. I kind of feel like I’m in Boston doing the actual thing.”

The runners had their official Boston Marathon bibs, and even a banner for the race.

“What Bill’s done for us to organize this is pretty exciting putting this together and even having some Boston Marathon running bandits come with us as well,” said Nelson.

But, even so, it’s a very different race than they are used to.

“Of course, the roads aren’t closed to traffic, and it’s just not the same,” said Sved. “It’s going to be just kind of like a fun run with friends.”

The thing that was noticed the most, along with the small number of racers, no crowds, and just a few spectators.

“It’s very much the most open Boston Marathon ever,” said Nelson. “Missing the excitement of Boston and all the crowds, but we have the Upper Michigan people here and that makes it super fun.”

All four runners will get a medal for completing the marathon. This coming April will be the 125th Boston Marathon, and these four, as well as their friends who ran the marathon as bandits, hope to be there.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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