A quartet of local runners competed in the prestigious Boston Marathon earlier this month, braving sweltering heat and humidity to finish the race.
Ian Penney, 43, of Pitt Meadows, was the top local competitor, finishing the 42 km race in a time of three hours, 27 minutes, and 32 seconds.
Spencer Nielson, 40, of Maple Ridge also finished under the four-hour mark, with a time of three hours, 46 minutes, and 16 seconds.
Maple Ridge’s Donna Burton, 50, finished in four hours and 28 minutes, just a minute and a half ahead of Soraiya Abdulla, 27, also of Maple Ridge.
Abdulla qualified for the race with a time of three hours and 36 minutes, however the heat on race day in Boston took its toll.
“The heat was brutal,” she said. “It was 30 degrees and humid, with no shade and no wind.”
Of the 26,000 runners who signed up for the race, 4,000 pulled out due to the heat, while 2,000 failed to finish the race.
Abdulla, a fitness instructor and student at Simon Fraser University, said it was never her goal to run the Boston Marathon, but when the opportunity presented itself, she jumped at the chance.
“I kind of lucked out when I qualified, so I thought, why not?” she said.
Burton and Abdulla regularly run together here in Maple Ridge, and made the trip to Boston together. Abdulla said she hopes to return to run the race again.
“It was an amazing experience,” she said. “The fans were amazing, they were cheering us on the whole way.”