Preparing for a marathon is tough enough. Having it pulled out from under you a month before it was to happen and rescheduled to five months later can present a new set of mental and physical challenges. But local runners we spoke to say they’re taking it all in stride.
“I am excited to train from May to September,” said Amy Dorfman. “I just find it easier, you just have shorts and a shirt, your shoes. You don’t have to worry about all your layers. … It’s a positive for me.”
Fellow resident Chris Hart agreed.
“I’m looking forward to not training in February,” he said. “That’s one of the hardest parts about the April date of the marathon. It’s cold, but maybe even worse than the cold is the lack of sunlight. It’s dark, there’s just not a lot of sunlight hours, which makes it tough if you work. It’s tough to train in that. So while the heat might be challenging, I’m looking forward to long summer days without the cold. That’s going to be a completely different experience for training.”
Dorfman, who previously ran Boston in 2018, said first-time marathoners might have a tougher time with the change. The event was moved from April 20 to Sept. 14 due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“Had this been my first-ever marathon training and it got canceled, mentally that would have been really hard for me,” she said. “But the fact that I know if I keep maintenance and then do more focused training 16 weeks out I should be OK.
“I have a lot of endurance, but I don’t have a lot of core strength. That’s where I tend to get injured. So I’m just using this time to try to get stronger.”
Ilana Casady had planned to do two marathons in a seven-week span. Shortly before the stay at home restrictions were instituted Casady traveled to Virginia and ran the Newport News One City Marathon on March 1, finishing 67th overall, 11th among women and first in the female masters division (40 and over) in a time of 3 hours, 24 minutes, 3 seconds.
“Every year I run Boston and every year the weather’s bad or I get sick or something bad happens,” she said. “I didn’t want to put all my eggs in one basket, so I scheduled two races. I did Newport News, I had an awesome race. And then right after that they canceled Boston. I was like, ‘OK, now I have a race to do in September.’ So I was in pretty good shape mentally. I was OK with it. I had done another race, so now I had more time to recover.”
Casady is looking forward to being a part of history — the first Boston Marathon held outside of April.
“I’m really excited to do Boston in the fall,” she said. “I think it will be super fun. I think it’s going to be really hot, so I’m just trying to prepare for the heat. Besides that, I think it will be a unique experience. Instead of all the daffodils it will be all the different leaves changing, it will be different colors. It will just be a very different Boston experience in the fall.”
Runners who are using the race as a fundraiser are finding a new challenge there, as many people understandably are choosing to direct donations to organizations helping people get through the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Fundraising definitely has been impacted,” said Hart, who is running for the KeepSmilin4Abbie Foundation, a Hopkinton-based organization that works on developing early detection and treatment for anaphylaxis. “I don’t feel comfortable reaching out to my network, to my friends and my family, right now asking for fundraising when a lot of people are going through a tough time. It feels like it’s not the right time, so I’m just waiting for it to become the right time.
“A huge part of my network is the restaurant business, my good friends are restaurant owners, and a lot of people I know and family I have are in the food business, and that’s a particularly tough-hit industry right now,” he added. “So I’ve just put it on the back burner. In the summer, once we get a month or so out from the race, hopefully we’re in a little bit of a happier place and we’ll pick it back up.”
Editor’s note: We have included a list of Boston Marathon runners from Hopkinton as well as a list of Hopkinton organizations that have runners fundraising on their behalf. Thanks to Claire Wright for her help compiling these lists.