Local qualifiers react to cancellation of Boston Marathon

Wayne Gilmore was planning on running in his first career Boston Marathon.

Parsons resident Wayne Gilmore has been waiting for his chance to run in the Boston Marathon for years.

“I’ve had my sights set on the Boston Marathon since 2005,” Gilmore says, “When my kids graduated high school, I said ‘I’m going to do this.'”

Gilmore qualified for the marathon for the first time this year, but because of COVID-19, the race in Boston has been canceled for the first time in its 124 year history.

“I really wanted to get there Friday morning and experience the whole weekend,” Gilmore says of the trip, “We’ll do it, it just won’t be in 2020.”

Scott Cichon and Caroline Capehart, both Pittsburg residnets, are veterans of the marathon.

Cichon had planned to make his 11th straight appearance in the race.

“It’s an experience like I’ve never had in any other race,” Cichon says of the Boston Marathon, “It’s this giant thing, but it feels like this real small, tight-knit community at the same time.”

Capehart was preparing for her fourth straight trip to Boston.

“It’s an amazing experience,” Capehart says, “Just the race itself and the atmosphere. The whole town shuts down because of the race.”

They both say it’s a special week, and not just because of the race on marathon Monday.

“It’s the team that I’m going to miss,” Capehart adds, “Seeing all of our teammates and friends from years past.”

“I’ve seen the Celtics. I’ve seen the Sox. I’ve seen the Bruins in the playoffs,” Cichon says of the extra things he’s been able to do on past marathon trips, “Somehow for that weekend, the marathon comes to the forefront.”

The Boston Athletic Association says it will still hold a virtual marathon in September.

“I’m still in the mindset where I’m going to find a way to make it happen,” Capehart says. 

All three plan to participate in the 26.2 mile race.

For Gilmore, it’s not the way he pictured his first Boston Marathon, but he does not plan on letting up.

“I guarantee you on social media, all my friends will be waiting to see how I do,” Gilmore finishes, “So I’m going to give it all I’ve got and see what happens.”

All runners who qualified for the race will be offered a full refund for their entry fee for the marathon.

They’ll run the virtual marathon between September 7th and September 14th, submitting their time to the Boston Athletic Association.