A local woman decided that the cancellation of the Boston Marathon due to COVID-19 wasn’t going to keep her from running the race virtually.
Vickie Thayer, of Garrison, chose to do a “virtual” run that would take her on a 26.2-mile loop through Garrison in 3 hours and 39 minutes.
Boston Marathon officials said that runners could run virtually anytime between Sept. 5 and Sept. 14 and then send in the results. Thayer chose 9/11 in honor of the fallen and those that have and continue to keep the country safe, she said.
This would have been the first year that Thayer qualified and was signed up to run the marathon, but as the COVID-19 pandemic would have it, the in-person race was first postponed and eventually canceled. The original date was April 20 on Patriot’s Day but postponed, and later in June, again postponed to a virtual race to take place Sept. 14.
Thayer qualified after running her first marathon ever last year in Duluth at Grandma’s Marathon. Thayer said she only planned on running a marathon once in her life, but because of encouragement from a coworker, she decided to continue.
Thayer chose a nearby route for the virtual run because those are the roads she trains on. “These roads are my favorite to run with the scenery and wildlife,” said Thayer. “Also, my daughter, Kate, could easily set up water stations along the route.”
The run was great, she said, but definitely not the same as running with other runners and crowds. “Other runners and crowds distract, bring humor and help push me through the miles,” she noted. “My greatest fan was my daughter who kept me hydrated and decorated her car with funny phrases and cheers. My other supporters were by texts and Facebook messages cheering and encouraging me as well. Most I couldn’t read until after, but a few came through on my watch and made me chuckle.”
Thayer is a registered nurse in Cambridge. She has five adult children (three daughters and two sons), along with a granddaughter. She began running short distances in her 20s and has been running most of her adult life for about 25 years. Over the years as her children got older, she said, she increased her distance and competed in races.