Two Yukoners will compete in the 2024 Boston Marathon.
Chris Lotsbom, race communications and media director of the Boston Athletic Association, confirmed the Yukon numbers.
Gemma Hosford of Whitehorse and Peter Mpala of Carcross are the two Yukoners taking part in the 128th edition of the race on April 15, 2024.
Lotsbom said the two Yukoners are among 1,714 Canadian residents in the marathon. He said even though qualifier registration has ended, athletes will continue to enter the race over the coming months by way of invitational entries, including runners raising money for charities.
A total of 33,058 qualifier applications were received. Of those, 22,019 qualified applicants have been accepted or are in the process of being accepted, pending verification of their qualifying performance.
Prospective runners need to meet the qualifying time requirements by participating in other long distance races or marathons, and all qualifying times are subject to review and verification. The qualifying time for men between the ages of 18 and 34 is three hours, while for women and non-binary people of the same age have a qualifying time of three hours, 30 minutes.
Hosford and Mpala met their required qualifying times at 3:16:09 and 2:48:14 respectively. Hosford ran the 2022 Royal Victoria Marathon to meet the qualifying time while Mpala met his during the BMO Vancouver Marathon this year.
Hosford said it feels exciting and overwhelming at the same time.
“It’s a really huge milestone in my running world,” she said. “It’s something you think about that hopefully you will do one day and now it’s actually happening. It’s pretty amazing.”
Hosford said she plans to start preparing for the marathon in January.
“I think I’m going into the race really excited to just participate. I feel like even if I don’t beat my personal best, it’s OK as long as I finish the race smiling and not injured, I think it would be an amazing experience.”
The Boston Marathon has prize money of more than US$1 million equally distributed amongst men and women in the open, masters and wheelchair divisions.
Last year, two Yukoners also participated in the marathon. Nathalie Dugas and Fran Nyman, both from Whitehorse, each finished with a time of 4:08:36.
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