BELMONT (CBS) — Thousands of runners are not letting the coronavirus pandemic stop their marathon dreams. They may not be hitting the famous 26.2-mile course, but this year runners are making the Boston Marathon their own.

The virtual edition of the marathon is underway from now through Sept. 14. Each athlete is running their own course, in the place of their choosing.

RELATED: Virtual Boston Marathon Runners Cross Finish Line

In Belmont Monday morning, a small group made their way to a homemade start line for a pandemic-appropriate send-off. WBZ-TV’s Nick Giovanni had the honors of giving two runners who have waited months for this moment the “get set, and go!”

Jennifer Knight and Dawn Wessman start their virtual Boston Marathon in Belmont (WBZ-TV)

Jennifer Knight and Dawn Wessman mapped out their own marathon course. Both moms embraced the challenge of becoming their own race director for the day.

“I’m really excited. This is like the best of both worlds. I get to choose my course – and no pressure!” Knight said. “This is a chance for me to really think about why I’m running.”

They finished strong later Monday morning at the Belmont High School track, with their kids by their side for the final half mile.

Crossing the Boston Marathon finish line – in Belmont (WBZ-TV)

“I think you can do hard things surrounded by good people,” Wessman said. “And that is Boston Strong.”

Belmont’s Becca Pizzi was watching and cheering. She plans to run the marathon twice this weekend – which should be a piece of cake considering she’s run Boston 17 times, as well as seven marathons on seven continents in seven days.

“You get to be the race director of the Boston Marathon for the day,” she said.

A total of 18,000 runners registered for the virtual event and there have already been “finish line” crossings from Boylston Street to Kenya.

Tune in to CBSN Boston at 8 p.m. all week for live shows featuring some of the day’s runners, inspirational stories, and some of your favorite Boston Marathon alumni like Des Linden, Tatyana McFadden, and Meb Keflezighi.


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