More than 70 Natick residents are entered to run the 2020 Boston Marathon, but none of them will have a chance to do so until at least Sept. 14 because of the coronavirus-related postponement announced about a month ago.
The Boston Athletic Association, government officials and public safety departments have urged runners not to simulate the race on the official course this Monday. But they didn’t say anything about not running your own marathon on a course of your choosing, as race director Dave McGillivary plans to do.
Her own private marathon
Natick’s Jacey Shumaker knocked off her “solo quarantine MetroWest marathon” on Sunday in Natick and surrounding communities. She put up what would have been a Boston qualifying time of sub-3:48 for the 26.21 miles “even with a minute and 52-second stop at CVS to get water.”
Clearly, she’d kept up her training
“Initially I had hopes of finding another spring marathon, but that clearly wasn’t happening and my June half marathon got canceled, so I figured I needed to honor the Boston Marathon my own way,” she says. “You know the feeling of this storied day. Especially living along the route makes the race ‘my race.'”
Running the race in September will be a challenge, says Shumaker. She isn’t a fan of summer training, and had a busy summer mapped out already with plans to hit the Inca Trail in Peru and drive her daughter to college in Utah. “Either way, if [the Boston Marathon] happens Sept. 14, I will be there. But it may be ugly.”
As for Marathon Monday, Shumaker is staying clear of the marathon course, but will wear her Boston Marathon shirt and shoes for a leisurely 3-mile recovery run.
Farm-ed and dangerous
Sophanny McArdle “loathes hot weather running,” but will get herself ready for the marathon in September. Her run is raising funds for Team Farm, which supports the Natick Community Organic Farm.
“It’s not just the weather that makes it difficult to train, it’s summer BBQs, family trips and kids being home,” she says. At least she’s getting practice now on the kids front.
Once McArdle heard the race was postponed she scaled back on her miles considerably, and added in more core strength workouts, yoga, tabata training and weight lifting. “I’m still running about 3 to 4 times a week but not as many miles… I’m trying to stay as healthy as possible.”
Her replacement for the 26.2-mile marathon on Monday will be a 2.62 mile run with her family in the neighborhood at the same 10am start time she would have had from Hopkinton. “We’re asking neighbors to come out and stay in their driveway to help cheer us on. I’m bummed, but this will be one for the history books so I’m trying to stay positive.”
A true cross country runner
Natick’s Aaron Stevens seemingly runs a marathon every other weekend. Or in the case of this past Feb. 29 and March 1, make that 2 marathons (Mississippi Blues and Little Rock) in 1 weekend.
He had planned to pace other runners at marathons in North Carolina, Rhode Island and the Vineyard between March and May, but those races got nixed due to the coronavirus crisis.
So it’s always hard to keep track of exactly which race he’s training for, but he’s been running.
On Marathon Monday, “I’m planning to run a backyard marathon in my part of Natick, 10 loops from my house around Dug Pond,” he says. He’ll be the super sweaty guy wearing the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge shirt to raise awareness for the cause he’s raising funds for in this year’s Boston Marathon.