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‘Amazing, right?’: 6 Chilliwack runners qualify for the Boston Marathon

Mike Nicholson says qualifiers highlight the growing running community ahead of this year’s marathon
From left to right, Tyler Beveridge, Travis Vugteveen, Kalyn Head, Nicole Bartel, Mike Nicholson and Matt Graham, will represent Chilliwack in this year’s Boston Marathon, which is on Monday, April 15. (Stefan Luciani/Chilliwack Progress)

The Boston Marathon is widely regarded as one of the most prestigious and coveted long-distance runs in the world, and for Chilliwack’s Mike Nicholson, it’s an opportunity to represent the local recreational running community.

Nicholson, 45, as well as five other Chilliwack runners, will be headed to Boston for this year’s event on April 15.

“It’s definitely been awesome to see so many Chilliwack locals making a mark internationally with their sporting efforts,” Nicholson said. “Amazing, right?”

The marathon, while incredibly popular, is a difficult event to qualify for. Hopefuls are required to compete in age-specific qualifying events specifically approved by the Boston Marathon in order to be granted the opportunity to compete in the main event. For many, this lofty goal is one that can take years of training and build-up to achieve with only 4.3 per cent of marathon runners successfully doing so.

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Nicholson previously qualified for the 2020 marathon, before that year’s race was cancelled for the first time in its history due to COVID-19.

“I ran the virtual race that they offered, but it never felt real, so I worked to re-qualify and made it in for this year’s real race,” said the 45-year-old.

Nicholson, as well as running companion Nicole Bartel, qualified together at the same time. Bartel, also 45, had been stringing together race wins in her age group prior to her qualification.

Nicholson emphasized the importance running with others can have on your motivation.

“It definitely helps to run with others when you’re trying for a goal race, as there can be major ups and downs during the longer training periods that are required to be successful in the marathon distance.”

Chilliwack’s Kalyn Head, Matt Graham, Travis Vugteveen and Tyler Beveridge will also be running this year in Boston.