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Boston Marathon postponement creates questions for SWFL runners who qualified

Imagine training months for a marathon, only for it to be postponed. That’s the reality for some runners in Southwest Florida with the new delay for the Boston Marathon due to concerns for coronavirus.

We spoke to a couple runners in our region who have logged a lot of miles already and now have to see if they will even make it to the race.

Dozens of runners throughout Southwest Florida qualified for the Boston Marathon and planned on being there next month.

“The boston marathon is the dream of every distance runner,” said Sarah Beekman in Fort Myers. “It’s the ultimate race.”

For Beekman, training began two years ago.

“I get up at 3:30 in the morning,” Beekman said. “I run around all around here.”

And it’s not just an investment of time but also money.

“You have to find a qualifying marathon,” Beekman said. “You know, you think of the accommodations, the expense of the marathon alone. It is very expensive.”

Although, she’s competed once before.

For Tim McGee in Estero, it’s his first time running.

“It actually became a bucket list item,” McGee said. “I didn’t know I wanted until maybe five months ago.”

McGee showed us the acceptance letter he received for the marathon, something he plans on framing. It’s an experience he hoped to share with his biggest fans and supporters — his family.

“I think it’s probably a small price to pay for the health of, you know, the family and the participants and the volunteers,” McGee said.

This is the first time in 124 years the marathon has been postponed. It generates more than $200 million.

With so much time and energy invested, neither runner is certain if they’ll run when the race resumes.

“It’s just, it’s disappointing,” Beekman said. “I’m wondering where is it going to go?”

Reporter:Justin Kase
Writer:Jack Lowenstein
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