WINNIPEG — Strangers at the time, 54-year-old Patricia Leung and 64-year-old Allan Finkel share an experience that’s connecting them, nearly 40 years after their first marathon.
“[My friend] told us that she had a bet with her brother that she couldn’t finish it. So she begged us to stay with her, and we did.”
Pat Leung (left) and friends run in the first Manitoba Marathon in 1979.
Patricia said she only remembers having a good time chatting with her friends throughout the race. It wasn’t until they stopped that she felt the pain of her blistered feet.
“I was in shoes that were borrowed from my friend and they were a size too big so I had blisters galore.”
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Allan had been training for several months ahead of his first marathon, but said nothing could have prepared him for the heat.
After crossing the finish line though, he said the accomplishment couldn’t have tasted sweeter.
“Afterwards, I know there’s a photograph floating around of me eating this Popsicle. It was the best Popsicle I’ve ever had in my life.”
Allan Finkel (left) enjoying a frozen treat after crossing the finish line in 1979.
Both Patricia and Allan have continued to run over the years, and they join more than a hundred ’79ers’ registered for the 40th anniversary on Father’s Day.
Manitoba Marathon Executive Director Rachel Munday said the call out to the ’79ers’ was a way to celebrate them and their stories.