On Labour Day, two Steinbach runners, Greg Penner and Chris Schroeder ran their virtual Boston Marathon on the track at Stonybrook Middle School in Steinbach.
That was 105 laborious and monotonous laps around the 400-metre track, as both runners set personal bests on the day including 2:32. 52 for Penner and just over three hours for Schroeder. Steinbach’s Gord Funk was one of the support runners in that marathon run.
Runners who had previously qualified for the Boston Marathon were instead invited to run a virtual race and submit their times during the week of Sept. 7-14.
Last Saturday it was Gord Funk’s turn to run his Boston Marathon, but he chose to run on the Mantario Trail, a 63-kilometre hiking trail in Whiteshell Provincial Park. He teamed up with another Steinbach runner, Justin Feilberg for the day-long feat. Accompanying them along the way this time was Greg Penner and a few other runners that completed all or portions of the trail with them.
A beautiful September day, fall colours, and perfect conditions greeted them when they set off around 6:30 a.m. for the scenic, yet gruelling jaunt.
Funk said much of the terrain on the trail is rugged, with ups and downs and not really all that conducive to jogging, despite their best efforts.
Funk completed the 63k trail in 9 hours and 20 minutes while Feilberg was 8:57. Funk said in 2017 he hiked the trail in over 11 hours, so he was pleased to complete it two hours quicker.
When Funk reached the official marathon distance of about 26 miles, or 42 km, he paused to mark and note the time of 5:52.13, which was the official time sent to Boston.
The duo were also involved in a fundraising aspect as part of their Mantario marathon, raising money for CanU scholarships for kids.
Next up for Funk and several other local marathoners will be the virtual Manitoba Marathon on Oct. 11. Of course the Manitoba Marathon, held on Father’s Day every year in June, was postponed until Oct. 11 this year. But that has also now been cancelled and will be run virtually instead.
Funk said they will be running on the paths in and around ‘Abe’s Hill’ at L.A. Barkman Park in Steinbach as they will be completing another marathon distance.