Running has turned into a good family activity for the Peyachews and in a couple of weeks the Brandon family members get to run and support each other on one of the world’s biggest stages.
Deanna Peyachew is competing in the Boston Marathon on April 21 and will have her husband, James, and their children, Dylan and Riley, cheering her on from the stands. It will be a role reversal from April 19, when she will be in the stands cheering on her family as they compete in the five-kilometre run that is part of the Boston Athletic Association’s marathon weekend.
This will be the second Boston Marathon for Deanna, who also competed in 2012 with her family in the stands. She says this year’s event is even more special.
"I’ve always encouraged the whole family to be active and running is something we can all do together," said the 36-year-old, who also serves as Neelin High School’s track and field coach. "For them to be there two years ago was quite exciting, and then with the bombing of last year, it kind of hit home because the year prior they were spectators and they stood (across the street from) where the second bomb went off. It was a surreal moment.
"This year is exciting because they’re running in a huge event. It’s not necessarily the Boston Marathon, but it’s part of the Boston Marathon and for them to feel that excitement in a large crowd and running in Boston is quite special to me."
Deanna qualified for Boston through Regina’s Queen City Marathon in September. She reached the Boston time standard and set a personal best of three hours, 29 minutes, 44 seconds, which was good enough for third place in the 35 to 39-year-old female category.
She took six weeks off after Regina before she resumed training, which included runs during the long and cold winter.
"The last month and a half has been really tough, the cold weather especially," she said. "The other weekend I ran a Mile 17 long run and I suffered mild hypothermia … The last month and a half has been tough with the weather and in the past I’ve never ran more than six miles on the treadmill and this year I ran up to 23 miles on it, which really hurts your hips."
Deanna isn’t the only one excited to go to Boston. James, who’s 39, as well as Riley, 17, and Dylan, 15, are also looking forward to the trip. They have all competed in the Queen City and Manitoba Marathons, but know this one will be special.
It may also be the last time the family gets to run together in a major event with Riley graduating from high school this year. He is looking forward to the experience of running in Boston.
"Two years ago when we were watching her, there were tens of thousands of people cheering them on along the sides," he said. "Just imagining what she was feeling as she was running by and having that smile on her face despite being the last mile and probably killing her legs. Having us there seemed so surreal.
"Now we’ll have that opportunity to have her watch us cross the finish line over in Boston and having all the people cheering."
The five-kilometre run will be different for Riley, who is usually a sprinter, although he did run a 10-kilometre race at last year’s Manitoba Marathon.
As much as he’s looking forward to the family bonding on this trip, he’s not going to be afraid to try to beat his brother and dad to the finish line.
"I’m going all out," said Riley, who played on Neelin’s football team last fall. "I don’t know about them, but I want to run a very fast time and place in my age group, hopefully. There’s some really fast people. I looked at previous placings and they’re really fast."
Deanna hopes to post a time similar to her mark in 2012, which was 3:34:34.
While she wants a good run, she is also a proud mom and is looking forward to watching her family run in Boston and having them support her from the sidelines during the marathon.
"Words can’t describe the feeling I’ll have as a mother to see my family cross the finish line," she said. "We’ve crossed the finish line at Manitoba Marathons and the Queen City Marathon, but the Boston Marathon is huge, and just the setting in the background. I’m really excited and I can’t wait."