Jeff Malin’s ninth marathon wasn’t in some exotic location or on a famous course. But it more than made up for that with cheering family members, balloons, a homemade finish line and even a large cutout of Malin’s face.
Malin was supposed to run the Chicago Marathon this fall, but when that was cancelled due to COVID-19, he came up with a Quesnel marathon route, and on Sunday, Oct. 11, he ran 42.2 kilometres in 3 hours and 48 minutes, finishing in front of the Quesnel Fire Department on Kinchant Street, where he was met by cheering family members who waited for him with a homemade finish line banner, balloons, a Quesnel Marathon shirt, a medal, a plaque and donuts.
Malin has been training for this marathon since May.
“After six months of hard training, it’s really to put it all into perspective and push yourself to get a good time,” he said. “It’s a finalization of all that six months of training. I just wanted to keep at it and not let it fall off.”
Malin was accepted to the Chicago Marathon in February 2020, and he says he didn’t want to lose the momentum after COVID-19 hit and races started getting cancelled. Malin was able to defer his spot in Chicago to 2021.
Malin has been running marathons for eight years. His first marathon was the BMO Vancouver Marathon in 2012, and he has run the Vancouver Marathon twice, along with marathons in Kelowna, Toronto, Montreal, Victoria, Maui and Washington, D.C.
”It was really a bucket list of things to do and a change of lifestyle,” he says of how he started running marathons.
On Oct. 11, Malin’s marathon route took him from his home in South Hills, along Redden Road, along Hydraulic and down to the underpass to cross under the highway, then up Highway 97 to Balsam and Cube, down Poplar and Maple, then onto to the Riverfront Trail to Ceal Tingley Park, across the footbridge and up North Fraser Drive to Pinnacles, then down Baker to the 7-Eleven in West Quesnel, on the second underpass at the west side, around the West Park Mall, back to the walking bridge, back to the Riverfront Trail, up to the hospital, along Highway 97, past the Petro-Canada and the old Co-op building, onto Brownmiller Road, up to Rome by OK Tire, to Gordon, up McLean to St. Laurent, then to Vaughan down past the Royal Canadian Legion and then around to come back up Kinchant and finish at the Quesnel Fire Hall, where he is a firefighter.
“Today went very well,” he said. “The couple hills were a bit challenging, but overall, I feel pretty good. It was my best marathon since Montreal.”
Depending on COVID-19 and travel restrictions, Malin hopes his next marathon will be Chicago in 2021. He hopes to one day run the Boston Marathon and says the Berlin Marathon is on his bucket list as well.