Taking part in 115 years of history

Mission’s Carin Thornton qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon earlier this month.

Mission’s Carin Thornton qualified for and completed the Boston Marathon earlier this month.

Most people spend years getting into a hobby, some having an eventual goal, or pinnacle achievement in mind. For others, landmark moments just sort of happen.

Mission’s Carin Thornton has been a runner most of her life, but never really pursued it strongly. On a lark, and after a comment from her sister, the local daycare owner entered herself into last year’s Vancouver Marathon.

Her sister said if she ran hard enough, Thornton could qualify for the 115-year-old Boston Marathon and that her sibling would accompany her to Beantown.

“I had to get four hours or less, and I ran a 3:58:49,” said the affable woman.

Not bad for a first-ever marathon.

Thornton signed up for Boston, but two weeks later, suffered a stress fracture in each leg, sidelining her for months. Thornton didn’t start preparing for Boston until January, trimming her training schedule to a scant 12 weeks, instead of the standard 16 to 18.

But rather than run for a personal best, Thornton had a different goal.

“I really wanted to experience it all,” she said. “The people in Boston absolutely love [marathoners]. You’re a celebrity.”

Thornton and her sister ran, decked out in Canadian flags, but they stopped along the race route to take photos with other Canucks in the crowd who were cheering on the runners, and to pet the odd dog and get photos of different sights.

Even with all the stops, Thornton clocked a respectable 4:12:05.