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Local Sports

Hlad has to wait to run postponed Boston Marathon because of COVID-19 concerns

On Hold:

Thomas Hlad of Monroe is in a holding pattern on his training for the 2020 Boston Marathon. He was ready to run in the 124th Boston Marathon on April 20 but the coronavirus concerns has postponed the race until Sept. 14.
Thomas Hlad of Monroe is in a holding pattern on his training for the 2020 Boston Marathon. He was ready to run in the 124th Boston Marathon on April 20 but the coronavirus concerns has postponed the race until Sept. 14.

MONROE — He was ready for the challenge of his first Boston Marathon. Now, Thomas Hlad is in a holding pattern.

“Basically I had done all the hard stuff and my mileage had come down to assure I was going to peak at the right time,” Hlad said on Sunday in a telephone interview. “I had a feeling as things began to get a little worse out that there was a possibility of it being postponed or even canceled.”

The 30-year-old Monroe resident had been training for the 124th Boston Marathon on April 20. The Boston Marathon is the world’s oldest annual marathon and ranks as one of the world’s most prestigious road racing events.

“I have the Boston Marathon’s Facebook page marked. They updated a post on it telling us the race had been postponed. They sent out emails later,” Hlad said.

On March 13, the Boston Athletic Association announced with consideration and guidance from Massachusetts and Boston officials because of the coronavirus concerns the 124th Boston Marathon would be postponed to Sept. 14.

The BAA announced on March 18, all participants who were registered to run the 2020 Boston Marathon scheduled for April 20 will be automatically entered in the postponed race now scheduled for Sept. 14.

“I was kind of upset thinking ‘I’ve trained so hard for this,’ then I realized there are so many other people at risk even if I’m not. I’m glad they decided to postpone not cancel it,” he said. “You just roll with it.”

Hlad said he and his wife, Sara, talked things over and he will be running the race in September. He said after the announcement he shut his training down completely for several days to allow his body to rest and recover.

“I’m running when I can but not nearly as much as I was when training for it. I’m doing shorter runs to stay conditioned as much as possible then probably will pick things back up more later in April or first of May,” Hlad said.

He will be following his training plan for Boston as before. He said about 18 weeks out from Sept. 14, he will start cranking up his mileage again.

Hlad began running distance races in earnest in middle school. He competed in cross country for Knoxville’s middle school and high school. Hlad ran a semester of cross country for Simpson College.

After a layoff from running for a little, he was enticed to run again in the 75-mile relay race, Market to Market, here in Iowa. Then came the half-marathon and a realization he enjoyed the longer duration distance races.

The 2020 Boston Marathon would be only his third marathon after running the Des Moines Marathon twice.

Hlad said he moved to Monroe after his parents — John and Stephanie Hlad — moved to the community as his father is at the pastor for Solid Rock Church. After college he came to the area and worked for a while at the Newton YMCA then another opportunity presented itself and he moved to Des Moines.

But Hlad and his wife, Sara, and 4-year-old son Ellis, now live in Monroe. He said his wife works in Pella and he is in Des Moines and they settled in the middle to cut down on long commutes.

Hlad works for HealthFitness as a contractor and is working at Corteva Agriscience in Johnston in its wellness center offering services to the company’s employees.

“We got the shutdown order last Monday (March 16) so I’m working from home along with my wife and our son is just running around here,” Hlad said. “We were going to do a bunch of group runs for our members and employees but then came the group limitation to 10.

“Our work is all online and basically we’re doing virtual workouts for our members and employees as we’ve had to take a different route with the whole COVID-19 situation.”

As he works online, Hlad’s journey to run the Boston Marathon is on hold right now.

Contact Jocelyn Sheets at
641-792-3121 ext. 6535

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