Aliphine Tuliamuk has her sights set on the rescheduled Boston Marathon… and crocheting!
The Boston Marathon in 2020 will take place in unusual circumstances.
Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the prestigious long-distance athletics event - which was supposed to be run today on April 20 - has been postponed until 14 September.
This means that spring in the USA won't feature the road race for the first time in a century.
However, while many runners will be disappointed with the delay, the rescheduled event does present an opportunity for some. USA marathon Olympic qualifier Aliphine Tuliamuk falls under that category.
The Kenyan-born athlete wasn’t supposed to compete in the Boston Marathon in 2020, but given the delay, and also Tokyo 2020’s postponement until 2021, she is now considering competing.
“I think every athlete honestly feels like if they win Boston, then they will have done something incredible. And I definitely want to do that." Tuliamuk told Olympic Channel, in an interview for a forthcoming podcast episode.
"Strange" not to have spring celebration in Boston
Tuliamuk told us that the change to the schedule would leave an emotional mark.
“The Boston Marathon is one of those traditions, right in the middle of spring," the American runner added.
“It's been something where you want to run every April, and it's exciting. I think it's always been the real beginning of the marathons in the year. And not to have that, it's going to be very strange for sure." - Tuliamuk to Olympic Channel.
“In 2018 after New York (Marathon), I was like ‘let's run Boston.’ Of course, it was too late to ask to run Boston and I didn't get in." She told us.
"I hope that someday the opportunity will present itself for me to run in Boston.”
A common interest in crocheting
Tuliamuk also revealed in her Olympic Channel interview, that she has a rather unique reason to be excited if she takes part in the Boston race.
"I think that the two marathons that I've run this last year, has put me as put me in a place where I really think that I could run with those ladies that ran Boston Marathon and actually, I have a fun fact. Mary Kay, who recruits the John Hancock elite athletes for Boston and I have something in common. We love crocheting. We talked about that last year after the New York City Marathon.
“After the trials I gave her one of my crocheted hats. I'm like, ‘In the future, maybe I'll run the Boston Marathon. And then after the race, you know, do the celebration, Mary and I will be crocheting together.”
The Boston Marathon postponement has presented the United States with a potentially massive change to win the race in the form of Tuliamuk this September, should she compete. If you told her that at the start of 2020, she'd probably have eaten her hat.
Stay home, don't run the course
Authorities have warned locals off running the course today during the pandemic, as the United States works to flatten their infection-rate curve and ease pressure on the healthcare system.
The race in 2018 featured full-time nurse Sarah Sellers finishing a surprise second.
Her story was told in an Olympic Channel podcast, which you can listen to here, along with a bunch of other great episodes.