A man from Belleville, Ont., is headed for the United States to compete in the Boston Marathon.
This will be 63-year-old Boyd Kalnay’s 18th consecutive run of the Boston Marathon, a record he’s proud of, but one that almost came to an end when he was forced to undergo heart surgery last year.
Just six months ago his enduring streak was almost broken because of two blocked arteries and open-heart surgery.
“A good friend of mine, who’s a cardiologist, told me ‘usually the first symptom of what you have is death,'” he said.
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Kalnay said he was only experiencing some shortness of breath when he would start running but a history of family heart disease made him decide to get it checked out.
“They say you can’t outrun your genetics and for me, I have a younger brother who died from sudden cardiac death, my brother J.T., and older brother Chris, who suffered a stroke,” he added.
Thanks to the early detection of his condition, and staying healthy, he’ll keep his streak going.
Over the course of his 18-year running of the Boston Marathon, Kalnay hasn’t let anything get in the way of his dedication to the race, not even the bombing in 2013. Luckily he had finished long before the explosions happened.
“I ran 16 miles a couple of weeks ago. Twenty-six on Monday is going to be a challenge, I expect I’ll be doing some walking but I’m going to cross the finish line,” said Kalnay.
It won’t be as good as his personal best of two hours, 54 minutes and three seconds, but he will have the chance to add to his collection of Boston Marathon race shirts.
“I’ve got the running shirts that they give you from each race here since I started,” he said.
The shirt will go in with the rest when he completes the marathon on Monday, but this one won’t just represent continuing his streak, but also, a new start.