With Boston Marathon postponed, local teacher creates her own special marathon

Caroline Capehart is a 5th grade teacher in Frontenac.

Caroline Capehart is a 5th grade teacher at Frank Layden Elementary in Frontenac. She should be running in her fourth straight Boston Marathon on Monday.

Because of COVID-19, the race and her trip to Boston have been postponed.

“I was just in shock, and I didn’t really have a reaction,” Capehart says of when she found out the Boston Marathon would be pushed back, “It wasn’t until this last weekend when I was actually supposed to be there that all the emotions came.”

Despite not traveling to Boston, Capehart decided to run anyway.

“Saturday morning I woke up when I was supposed to be at the 5K for Boston and I went on my regular run. I just decided during that run that this is what I do. This is the only way to get through this, to go ahead and run a marathon.”

What was supposed to be a special day in Boston for the 5th grade teacher, turned into a special day right here at home. 

Capehart mapped out a 26.2 mile route, the exact distance of the Boston Marathon, stretching from Pittsburg to Arma. On that route, she made sure to run by the homes of as many of her students as possible.

“I get to see them every school day on Zoom for about twenty minutes, and it’s just not the same,” Capehart says, “I went through and found out everybody’s address and tried to piece it together to where I could make it the most accommodating.”

Capehart was able to make it by the homes of 17 of her 20 students.

“We’re very proud,” says Racyn Portenier, one of Capeharts students, “She encourages me every day when I see her run.”

She even had a police escort through downtown Frontenac, where friends and family kept their distance, but came together to cheer her on.

Capehart finished the entire 26.2 miles on Monday afternoon. Although she and her students were not in the classroom, she says she hopes they still take away a valuable lesson.

“They know that it’s important to me,” Capehart finishes, ” I want them to know if something is important to you, you’re going to find a way. You’re going to find a way to make it happen.”