Chelley Carvelli was one of four runners who took part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. See more photos at the bottom of story. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Fraser Valley trainer brings ‘San Juasn’t’ half marathon to her team after race cancelled in U.S.

It was a full half-marathon experience for just four runners with spectators, noise-makers and more

When a half marathon south of the border was cancelled, one Chilliwack trainer decided to bring her own 21-kilometre run to her team on the weekend.

Shelley Hatfield created the “San Juasn’t” half marathon after the 2020 San Juan Island Half in Washington State was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have been training together for this over a year with me, some were walkers,” trainer Shelley Hatfield said. “This is a very big deal and also a huge disappointment as we were doing it as a trip as well.”

Despite the cancellation of the U.S. run the team, made up of six women plus Hatfield, continued to train leading up to the big day, May 16, which was the same day the San Juan Island Half was scheduled.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the women used two-metre long pieces of pink rope to physically distance themselves. After several weeks, once they had a good feel for the distance, they ditched the ropes and soon they were ready for their first half marathon.

But it wasn’t just the race route Hatfield brought to her team on Saturday – which weaved through residential areas in Sardis, along the Vedder River, and past the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve – she went all out, bringing the full experience of a long-distance running event to them.

On May 16, the airhorn sounded and they were off. Hatfield was at the front on the lead bike, and her four runners dressed in tutus and bright colours were behind her. They ran it together as a team, even though only four of the six women were able to do the run that day.

Hatfield called on friends, neighbours and family to come cheer them on. The runners were bombarded with squirt guns and bubbles along the course, while others cheered, clapped, used noise-makers and shook pom-poms. There were even marathon bibs, several water and fuel stops, plus sponge stations.

Elite runners came out to support them while others dressed in dinosaur, unicorn and Storm Trooper costumes took part as well.

It was all a surprise to the four runners who smiled and cheered right back at the spectators.

Here are some other stories about people in our community who are giving back:

Chilliwack fitness instructor caters to senior students, moves classes outside, makes them free

Chilliwack woman delivers smiles in the form of free flowers to people who need a pick-me-up


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusrunning

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Runners take part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

Drug-pricing petition garners thousands of signatures

Petition started by Chilliwack mom also drew support of Chilliwack-Hope MP Mark Strahl

Ken Monkhouse, ‘Monkey’ on Highway Thru Hell TV show, passes away

Monkhouse passed away Sunday night of a heartattack, Jamie Davis towing confirmed

A second wave of COVID-19 is probable, if history tells us anything

B.C.’s top doctor says that what health officials have learned this round will guide response in future

Council talks trash: New garbage bylaw in the works

Draft bylaw to be voted on at Monday, May 25 council meeting

UPDATE: Police oversight agency investigating after shots fired Saturday night in Chilliwack neighbourhood

RCMP reported a ‘distraught male’ fired at police officers on Christina Drive – IIO is on scene Sunday

B.C. drive-in theatre appeals COVID-19 concession rules, 50-car limit

With 50 cars and the removal of concession sales, drive-in owner says theatre might have to close

COVID-19: B.C. grants aim to stabilize sexual assault recovery programs

$10 million fund not yet ready to take applications

Gabriel Klein’s sentencing delayed until September

Man convicted of killing Abbotsford high school student Letisha Reimer was set for June

‘Paralyzed by fear’: B.C. woman details anxiety, grief at Italian relief hospital

Sheila Vicic spent two months in Italy as the country grappled with COVID-19

Dr. Bonnie Henry given new name in B.C. First Nation ceremony: ‘one who is calm among us’

The provincial health officer was honoured in a May 22 ceremony at elementary school in Hazelton

CAMH survey looks at binge-drinking, financial anxiety during COVID

Alcohol may be used as a coping mechanism for those whose careers may have been sidelined due to the pandemic

Half of Canadians say governments are hiding something about COVID-19: poll

More than a third of people believe the virus was created in a lab

Kelowna man charged with harming a hamster

The 20-year-old Kelowna man faces several animal cruelty charges

Most Read