September 12, 2020 – At the break of dawn, some runners were already spotted on Queens Road in their royal blue and yellow racing singlets. The thunderstorms held off, although the humidity was high. But nothing was going to stop the first “Boston Marathon” to be held in Charlotte.
Over 61 qualified runners registered to run their Virtual Boston marathon with Charlotte Running Club, and at least that many other athletes ran a few laps of the 4-lap course. After cancelation of April’s 124th Boston Marathon, the re-scheduled event would have taken place on Monday, September 14, but we all know what happened next. Most of these runners have been training for a marathon ALL YEAR LONG. Today they found a welcome finish line.
All four of the local running stores set up support stations: Omega Sports had a tent near the greenway behind Park Road Shopping Center; Charlotte Running Company on East Blvd was a welcome sight after the big hill on Floral; Run For Your Life had a pool filled with iced water bottles on King’s Drive; and Ultra Running Co offered a smorgasbord of snacks on Queens & Queens (atop the Charlotte version of “Heartbreak Hill).” Local businesses Destination Marathons and Carolina Sports Clinic also provided supplies and stretching to 100+ runners who ran primarily from 6 am – 10 am.
In 2020, it wasn’t a race … it was a celebration. There was no start or finish line, no germy port-a-Johns, and the support stations were hands-free (equipped with hand sanitizers and complimentary face masks). What we did have: friends, family, cheers, signs, struggles to overcome, and the spirit of the marathon that brought our community together. Congratulations to all of our marathoners, half marathoners, quarter marathoners, and support team. Running is NOT canceled.