BOSTON (CBS) – Before running the Boston Marathon, a group of strangers from Canada had a marathon of a different kind.
Willa and Lisa met during their flight from Vancouver to Toronto when they noticed they were both wearing Boston Marathon jackets. After arriving at their layover in Toronto, however, the real adventure began.
Scheduled to land in Boston at 9:30 a.m., the runners instead encountered delay after delay. Eventually by Sunday night, the news got worse.
“It came across the board flight canceled, all flights canceled. There was nothing else,” said Willa. “Lisa started to cry because this was her first Boston. She had never been to Boston before and she was missing everything. Her family is all there waiting for her because they flew out the day before.”
As the delays mounted during the day, the runners realized even if they were able to board a flight they wouldn’t arrive in time to get their bibs. So they convinced race organizers to allow their friends to pick up the bibs for them.
Willa and Lisa came across two other travelers at the airport, Boston residents who were trying unsuccessfully to get back home. Once their flight was canceled, the group made a decision.
“The three of us said ‘We are getting Lisa to Boston. That’s it. We are going to get her to Boston.’ So we left, got our luggage and that started the next hurdle, which is getting a car,” said Willa.
After multiple unsuccessful attempts to rent a car, the stranded travelers found someone who helped get them a vehicle. They drove over the border, switched cars in upstate New York and drove all night into Massachusetts.
Around 7 a.m., they arrived and checked into their hotel. After about a half hour of sleep, it was time to get dressed and ready for Marathon Monday.
“It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure,” Willa told WBZ-TV during her drive from Toronto to Boston.