Tri-State runners participate in virtual Boston Marathon

Tri-State runners participate in virtual Boston Marathon

CINCINNATI (FOX19) - You may notice more people than usual running around the Tri-State this weekend.

Across the world, people are running a virtual Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon, which usually takes place in April, was postponed to September due to the pandemic and then turned into a virtual race instead.

As many as 30,000 people from across the world will pin on their race bib and run 26.2 miles.

The Boston Marathon is the longest continuous running marathon in the world. Happening on the third Monday in April every year since 1897, this will be the first-year thousands of runners will not run from Hopkinton to Boston.

After being postponed once, organizers decided to make it a virtual event. Allowing all registered runners, the opportunity to run their marathon at their own pace from September 5-14.

Scott Bihl completed his virtual race, which is his 20th consecutive Boston Marathon last Saturday.

“We wanted to make it Boston-like as much as possible,” explains Bihl. “Obviously you’re not going to have the Wellesley crowd of college girls, you’re not gonna have Boston College and Fenway Park. But the elevation profile was something we thought was distinct and interesting about Boston, so we tried to recreate that.”

Bihl’s friend Jeff Phillips also ran the marathon in Cincinnati marking his 16th Boston Marathon.

For Jessica Lane, this is her first Boston Marathon. She qualified for the prestigious race one year ago in Erie, Pennsylvania.

“When it was going to be, ‘oh you have to go run by yourself,’ I thought, ‘well there’s other people thinking the same thing I am,’" said Lane. "They’re going to be running by themselves. What if we try to connect them together?”

That’s when Lane came up with the idea to run the marathon on the Little Miami Bike Trail.

She was able to get other Boston runners involved and running groups to host water stops.

Cheehee Kim is running the same course on Saturday. This will be her fourth Boston Marathon.

“It really is a privilege, it’s an honor,” said Kim. “And I didn’t want to miss out on saying I was still a part of it. Even though it’s going to be virtual it’s still an opportunity to be part of the actual Boston Marathon feel.”

So far, 50 countries have been represented in the virtual race with 13,000 runners planning the race this weekend.

“They’re [family and friends] all there cheering, celebrating together their accomplishments because it takes a lot of time and dedication for whoever the runner is,” says Kim.

Bihl didn’t cancel his flight or hotel when the in-person race was canceled. He’s in Boston now enjoying things unrelated to the marathon.

Something he hasn’t been able to do the past 20 years.

“Those ties to what is clearly a big event and production that has its own celebratory aspect,” explained Bihl. “But the people involved keep it interesting year after year. I mean 20 years of the same thing you think might get boring, but it doesn’t it never gets dull.”

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