A Hanna man has undertaken one of the most prestigious marathons in the world, one that has made history since its inception in 1897. Five years ago, the Boston Marathon, a marathon that hosted almost 30,000 participants this year, was hit by an unsuspecting terrorist attack that injured several people and killed three.
Despite this dark mark in history, Dean Kroetsch, 55, was undeterred by the incident as he crossed the finish line in the men’s 55 to 59-year-old category this year.
“I didn’t have any concerns,” he said. “If you stay holed up in your house and let things like terrorism affect your day to day life then you’re letting terrorism win.”
Security was strict. Fire Departments blocked off intersections and police presence was notable along the entire length of the race.
“About every mile you went by you would see military or police vehicles just sitting there being present, not actively doing anything other than just hanging out,” described Kroetsch.
Kroetsch was selected for his extensive participation with Team in Training where they invited him to apply for the famous marathon. The 55-year-old started his passion for running in the fall of 2013. The year before, his daughter’s husband first got in to it through cross country running with friends.
“My daughter wanted to participate at the events that he was going to but he runs quite a bit faster than her so she asked me to get involved and I got some training so I could run with her on the next trail run that we had,” he said.
The next spring they were in the Calgary marathon. He decided to try out a full marathon in 2014. Since then, he has participated in half and full marathons in San Francisco, San Diego and Edmonton to name a few. Boston proved to be a tough year for many runners as a torrential downpour came to stay for the entire race. Luckily, Kroetsch crossed the finish line.
“It was absolutely horrible,” said Kroetsch. “The worst race I have ever ran as far as competition goes, and my time. I had a lot of cramping, pain in my legs, and struggled through to the finish. It was not very nice at all.”
Coming from a small town such as Hanna, the avid runner was ecstatic to represent Alberta and his hometown at the event regardless of the weather.
“That felt really awesome. I guess the most positive was not just being able to participate as a runner but being able to participate and help raise money for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society with the support that I have had,” said Krotesch.
The next Boston Marathon will take place on April 15, 2019. Krotesch encourages anyone that is interested in running to get involved.
“I’m not an elite athlete, I’m just an average person that has decided to get involved and help to do some fundraising and participate. You don’t have to be of a certain physique or of a certain athletic capability, you can just participate.”