Most everyone I know in the running community knows that in addition to Canadian thanksgiving, this weekend is also the Virtual Boston Marathon.
At least five people I know signed up for the race, which thanks to the pandemic was a once in a lifetime opportunity to run through your own streets, track it on the Boston Marathon app, and call it an official run.
I did not sign up.
… but I did go out on the dawn trails with a trio of friends who had signed up to run the pandemic version of the famous race.
When three of us tag-alongs met up with them early on Saturday morning near a local park, the sun was just peaking over the horizon and they had been at it for almost ten kilometers already.
We trotted into step with their route, followed it as it wend its way along the river, up in the neighbourhood, down into a local recreation area, and around the back side of a golf course. After about eight kilometers of support running, we turned back to where we’d left our cars … and ultimately logged just over thirteen klicks total even as we zoomed past a half dozen other virtual Boston’ers with their race bibs or support cyclists or multi-coloured tutus plodding along with fierce determination through the morning trails.
Our thirteen was not quite a marathon. Obviously. Not even quite a half marathon. I later calculated that my logged distance of 13.43 km as per my GPS watch, worked out to almost exactly one pi of a marathon. Weird. After all, forty two point two kilometers divided by thirteen point four-three kilometers equals three point one-four, or pretty much as close to one pi of a marathon as my technology can measure.
Mathematics and adventure collide on a Saturday morning in a curious way, it seems.
And then the event ended, and we cheered in the actual racers across the finish line via text message, as they completed their virtual distance … and won their real medals.