Runners head down the stretch to the finish line of the 2017 Boston Marathon. The 124th Boston Marathon was scheduled for April 20 but was rescheduled Sept. 14 because of concerns over the coronavirus pandemic. AP photo

When Tiana Thomas ran the Boston Marathon two years ago, it did not go well. Running in a steady, cold rain and a numbing wind, Thomas was cold from the outset of the race. By mile 20, she was shivering uncontrollably, and had to stop going to receive treatment for hypothermia.

Thomas skipped last year’s race.

She thought 2020 would be the right time to defeat the race that left her cold and wet and just short of the finish line.

Thomas still plans to run the 2020 Boston Marathon, but now she has a few more months in which to train.

On March 13, with Boston in the early stages of the coronavirus pandemic and just over a month before the April 20 race, the Boston Athletic Association postponed the Boston Marathon to Sept. 14.

“I felt like my training was going well. I was thinking, this is my shot to finish the Boston Marathon,” said Thomas, 24, of Waterville native. “I heard (in March) there was talk about (postponing). I knew it was the right thing to do.”

Like Thomas, other central Mainers who planned to run the Boston Marathon next week understand and agree with the decision to postpone the race, and look forward to racing in September.

“I’m still going to do it,” said Ron Peck 44, of Waterville.

This will be Peck’s sixth consecutive Boston Marathon.

“I sort of saw the writing on the wall,” he added. “I was really confident they would postpone… It’s a fairly easy drive to Boston, so having it in September is not disruptive. I feel sorry for the people that made flight plans and booked hotels for April.”

Twin brothers Ward and Wade Boudreau, 44, of Gardiner, planned on running their sixth Boston Marathon together. They planned to attend a family reunion in Northbridge, Massachusetts — a town not far from the Boston Marathon’s starting line in Hopkinton — the weekend before the race. The brothers plan to run in September, but the family reunion is a question mark.

“Everybody’s in the same boat. It’s not like anybody wanted this. You’ve got to roll with the punches,” Wade Boudreau said.

Koher Der Simonian, 41, is a Waterville native now living in Falmouth. A physician specializing in family medicine and obstetrics, Der Simonian is unsure if she’ll be able to compete in the September race due a work commitment. The Boston Athletic Association is giving runners until mid-May to decide it they would like to defer their entry to 2021 or take a refund on their entry fee, Der Simonian said.

“I’m trying to see if I can make it work,” said Der Simonian, who also ran last year’s Boston Marathon. “When they made the decision (to postpone), I was still of the mindset we were being overly cautious in the United States. It was the right decision, obviously… I will say I shed a tear that day.”

When the race was postponed, most runners had reached the point of their longest training runs. The Boudreaus had completed two of three planned 20-mile runs. Der Simonian had also completed a 20-mile run, with another scheduled for the following weekend.

“I did it anyway. It was more challenging with no goal in sight,” Der Simonian said.

“The longest run I did was 16 miles. I still had to go up,” said Thomas, a dental hygienist whose job is on hold during the coronavirus crisis. “I’m just running six days a week now. I’m running by feel so I can pick up the intensity closer to the race.”

While running can be a solitary endeavor, it’s not always a case. Training in this time of maintaining social distance means the Boudreau brothers are unable to run with their running group, the Holy Rollers.

“We get on Zoom and meet on Saturdays and talk and tease each other. It’s been a big hole in our running circle,” Ward Boudreau said.

Preparing for a September Boston Marathon means training in much different conditions than the traditional April race. Maine runners typically train in the cold. Now, they’ll be training in the warm summer months for a race that could be one of the warmest in the marathons’s history. Ward Boudreau said the race could be in conditions similar to 2012, when temperatures were around 90 degrees for much of the field.

“You just have to stay hydrated a little more. I’m fearful race day is going to come and it’s going to be hot,” Ward Boudreau said.

“I don’t worry about it. I just prepare the best I can,” Wade Boudreau added. “My brother and I say, just run, stupid. Running is not complicated. Just go run.”

Peck and Der Simonian expressed a preference for running in hot weather. Thomas, not so much.

“I struggle with heat and humidity sometimes,” said Thomas, who was a four-time all-conference selection as a member of the University of New England cross country team.

As they train, the local runners look at the postponed Boston Marathon as a chance to take part in a historic race.

“It will be a neat thing, to run it in September,” Thomas said.

“It’s always a blessing to get there,” Ward Boudreau added. “We can say we ran the first year the Boston Marathon was delayed.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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