"THEY WANTED TO BE PART OF A CELEBRATION RATHER THAN A TRAGEDY."
KELOWNA – When Kelowna grandmother Liz Borrett received her invitation to run in the Boston Marathon for the second year in a row, she says she didn’t even hesitate.
“I’m so glad I went back,” she says. “It was such a neat experience to share in getting Boston back in charge of the runs.”
Borrett, 75, not only participated in the iconic marathon that was hit with a homemade bomb last year, she also placed first in the 75-79 age group.
“I’ve got an advantage over most people because most of them aren’t old enough,” she says with a laugh. “There’s not a whole lot of us running at that age. I understand there were five that entered and three that finished.”
Borrett, a retired nurse, started running marathons at the relatively late age of 64. She says it was simply a way to stay active and stay in shape, but acknowledges the importance of the social side of running.
“I tend to be a person who likes to be really busy so I went and got involved in running at a fundraising event,” she says. “I’ve always been involved in some kind of physical activity, be it baseball or volleyball or aerobics. If I hadn’t done this run in Boston I’d be hiking in Turkey with my son and two granddaughters, but I’d already registered when they made their plans.”
Finishing second in her age group last year, Borrett says her focus this year was to enjoy herself and just try to finish.
“My goal was to do it under four hours and 30 minutes, but my biggest focus was making sure I finished the run,” she says. “I wasn’t sure how my endurance would hold up because I didn’t get the same amount of training in but it didn’t impact my time. That’s a good time for me.”
Borrett’s training was interrupted in January when she tripped on a sidewalk during a run and broke her collarbone. The injury prevented her from running for seven weeks.
“I haven’t got a lot of time to waste,” says Borrett, who finished 30 minutes ahead of the second place with a time of 4 hours and 22 minutes. “It was a good time for me. It was only during the last three kilometres that my head was kind of negative. A positive attitude is a big part of running.”
Borrett, who has lived in Kelowna for more than 50 years, says she noticed some interesting differences at the marathon this year.
“During the run there was a bit more socializing this time,” she says. “People were asking where I was from and if I was there last year. It felt good to be there and it was very easy to meet people. It felt like people were reaching out to each other more this year. Everyone was being really supportive and like they wanted to be part of a celebration rather than a tragedy.”
Borrett’s next challenge will be competing in the New York Marathon in November.
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