Commemorative quilt covers Winnipeg runners’ 40 Manitoba Marathons

Click to play video: 'Winnipeg marathoner gets all 40 Manitoba Marathon shirts quilted'
Winnipeg marathoner gets all 40 Manitoba Marathon shirts quilted
More than ten thousand runners cross the starting line every year at the Manitoba Marathon, but there's only one runner who's seen it all. Adriana Zhang reports – Jun 14, 2018

WINNIPEG — As the Manitoba Marathon celebrates its 40th anniversary, so does Len Rolfson. The 70-year-old has ran in every single Manitoba Marathon since its inception in 1979.

“It feels tremendous, I just consider myself fortunate to have been able to be involved all these years.”

While he’s modest about it, Executive Director of the Manitoba Marathon, Rachel Munday, suggested his accomplishment is remarkable.

“It’s pretty exceptional in that he’s been fit and healthy and to be able to train for 40 years, and run every full marathon,” Munday said.

Len has finished 112 marathons all across Canada and the United States, but the Manitoba Marathon holds a special place in his heart.

In 1997, Len was grappling with a stress fracture in his left foot which left him nearly unable to race. He had attempted to run a marathon just a month before Manitoba Marathon but dropped out due to his injury.

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“I dropped out thinking that I’ve got to save myself for Manitoba and fortunately it worked out,” said Rolfson.

He’s been injury-free since then and decided to do something special for his 40th Manitoba Marathon. An idea came to him when he stumbled across a magazine article about a company that makes quilts out of event t-shirts.

A family friend agreed to take on the project, and quilted together all 40 of Rolfson’s Manitoba Marathon finisher t-shirts.

Rolfson said, “I figured after 40 years, I should really do something about it. Besides, I was getting quite a collection of shirts at home.”

Rolfson’s quilt will only get bigger in the years to come. He said he plans to run the Manitoba Marathon for as long as he can.

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