Participants in Saturday’s Kansas City Marathon soaked in views of downtown Kansas City. Others, competing “virtually” overseas, saw something much different.
Over 7,000 miles away, 30 members of the Army National Guard’s 35th Infantry Division out of Fort Leavenworth, Kan., took part in a virtual, or “shadow,” version of the KC Marathon at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait.
Their race was run at 10 a.m. Central time on Saturday, or 6 p.m. in Kuwait.
Organizers of the marathon sent over shirts and medals, which were be presented to the soldiers after the run.
The unique arrangement gave soldiers serving in Kuwait the opportunity to participate in the Kansas City annual event.
“It’s a little piece of home for a lot of people that wanted to run in the Kansas City Marathon,” said Captain Todd Gessling, a Kansas City resident. “I know I want to run in the actual Kansas City Marathon next year; this is just a little taste of it.”
Running in Saturday’s shadow marathon was more than an act of fitness for these soldiers. It was also a reminder of home.
“It’s good for us to kind of remember the stuff that we would do when we were home,” said Major Peter Mcann.
“It’s just kind of a little piece of kind of being like home here in Kuwait, even though Its not the same of running the streets of Kansas City and around the Sprint Center and stuff. But we are at least commemorating the time that when we get back we can maybe go do the run again in the streets of KC.”