BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Dozens of runners are trading the streets of Boston for ones in their neighborhood this week for the 2020 Virtual Boston Marathon.
The Boston Marathon is like the Olympics for runners who qualify, and when it turned virtual this year due to COVID-19, there were a lot of disappointed runners, but this week, dozens around the area are hitting the streets to still take part in the historic marathon.
The Boston Marathon was rescheduled from April to September 14, but now with it being virtual, runners have a 10-day period to run the marathon on their own. For Clanton resident, Samantha Pitts Sims, this would have been her third Boston Marathon. She finished her virtual race Monday about 20 minutes off her personal best. “I wasn’t going for time, I was just running it to complete it. I had a lot of friends and family running with me and cheering me on,” Pitts Sims said.
Although she says it’s not the same as being there, it was still emotional for her as she planned her marathon to end at the cemetery where her dad, Barry, is buried. Her dad watched her finish her first two Boston Marathons, and she says it was only fitting to end there in his memory.
“It was very emotional. On the 26th mile, I just kept picturing him and picturing his face. When I stopped last year in 2019, and I said, “Daddy, I hope you’re proud and he said ‘I am, I am,’ and we hugged, and I just pictured that moment at mile 26 yesterday, and I could picture him saying it again that he would be proud,” Pitts Sims added.
Dozens of local runners will continue to run the Virtual Boston Marathon all week. The Trak Shak in Homewood is also putting on a Virtual Boston Marathon course on Sunday to support local runners.