Marathon runner from Shinnston participates virtually in the Boston Marathon


SHINNSTON, W.Va. – A Shinnston marathon runner, James Coulter, had a goal to qualify, and to run the Boston Marathon. In 2020, he accomplished that goal.

The pandemic took away the physically being in Boston part, but on Saturday Coulter hit his marathon goal in his hometown of Shinnston, while running the 2020 Virtual Boston Marathon.

“It was a goal of mine and my dad’s to qualify for the Boston Marathon and to run it, and this year we both did it,” said Coulter. “Unfortunately we couldn’t be in Boston, but it feels absolutely incredible, and I’m just going to keep pushing harder. It’s unbelievable how much support we have, and I’m very grateful for that.”

Saturday morning, Coulter along with a few other runners, took off in Shinnston, ran to Fairmont and back to get the real “race day energy.” The race has checkpoints and water stations, along with family and friends who followed them along, in cars, cheering them on.

When Coulter crossed the finish line, he also hit his goal time. He said all the hard work and training has paid off, and he can’t wait to run the next one.

“I heard a quote one time that, ‘it’s only a crazy dream until you do it.’ I set my mind, to that I wanted to run Boston. I wanted to qualify for Boston, I wanted to run for Boston,” Coulter said. “This is the first year I would have qualified. I mean it’s the ultimate goal to hit, that time. Every marathon-er wants to hit sub three. It’s an incredible feeling hitting your goal after all the hard work you put in.”

Coulter’s father also qualified for this years Boston Marathon. He will be running his race on a later date, because Saturday he was there to support his son, and help pace him so he could reach his goals. Coulter said he plans to do the same for his father.

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