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In the age of COVID-19, society is adapting to a socially distanced world, finding new and innovative ways to hold longstanding events safely. One such event is the Boston Marathon, which will be virtually run this year by people all over the world, including here in Fountain Hills.

Matthew Frable, Minister of Music at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church and the director of Fountain Hills Community Chorus, qualified for the marathon and will be running 26 miles around Fountain Park on Saturday, Sept. 12, from 5 to 9 a.m.

Frable has been distance running for around six years and has competed in seven marathons before, including the Boston Marathon in 2018.

“When I qualified for the marathon two years ago, it was the worst weather ever recorded for the marathon,” Frable explained. “It was 30 degrees with 30 mile per hour headwinds. So after that experience, I wanted to try it again.”

While it turns out it won’t be a normal experience this year either, Frable is hoping to turn his run into a community experience, just like it is in Boston.

“The cool thing about the Boston Marathon is that the community is really supportive,” Frable explained. “Wherever you are in the race, people are out cheering you on. So I am hoping that I can get some friends and supporters out to watch me.”

The Town of Fountain Hills has already dedicated the Golden Barrel Ramada to be a first-aid and water station and the Extended Hands Food Bank will also be at the park collecting donations from 6 to 9 a.m. Visitors are invited to drop by, watch a Boston Marathon run through Fountain Park and, if able, bring donations for Extended Hands.