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Sanibel runner to bring Boston Marathon to island

By Staff | Sep 3, 2020

PHOTO PROVIDED Sanibel resident Jeff Muddell finishing his last marathon in September 2019 in Berlin.

Periwinkle Way on Sanibel will turn into a virtual version of the Boston Marathon roads from Hopkinton to Boston on Sept. 12 as one resident brings a little bit of the race to the island.

Sanibelian Jeff Muddell will run 26.2 miles through the island as part of the 124th Boston Marathon Virtual Experience, joining more than 25,000 registered runners who will bring the world’s oldest marathon to their communities. Annually held in April on Patriots’ Day, this year’s race was initially rescheduled for September in light of COVID-19. Ultimately, the pandemic forced the legendary marathon to change course entirely, turning the event into a “virtual experience.”

Muddell will get an early start on the morning of Sept. 12 to beat the heat, leaving the Dixie Beach Boulevard parking lot before sunrise at about 5 a.m. His route will take him south to Periwinkle, west to the Lazy Flamingo at Santiva, east around Lighthouse Beach Park, then back up Dixie Beach to the parking lot. Muddell’s family will be waiting for him at the lot, equipped with an official Boston Marathon finish line, finishers tape and a medal furnished by race organizers.

For most of the past five years, since recovering from treatment for testicular cancer, Muddell has been chasing the goal of running all six of the Abbott World Marathon Majors — New York City, Chicago, Boston, Berlin, London and Tokyo. Boston 2020 was set to be the final of the “Six Star” marathons for him, which would have been timed to celebrate five years Muddell has been cancer-free.

He received his five-year clean bill of health from his oncologist a few weeks ago, but he will have to wait on his marathon goal until 2021, when Muddell hopes to be able to run Tokyo and Boston.

PHOTO PROVIDED Jeff Muddell, of Sanibel, crossing the Tower Bridge in April 2019 during the London Marathon.

Muddell is not aiming to break any speed records in the Sanibel heat, and he has also been nursing a couple of injuries through the summer. He is aiming to finish the course in under five hours, running the final Dixie Beach stretch at about 10 a.m.

To earn his spot in the Boston Marathon, Muddell has been raising funds for Dana-Farber, the world-renowned cancer center in Boston. COVID-19 cut short the fundraising efforts of the charity marathon team members, but Muddell said he will start fundraising again in the final months of 2020 to regain his spot at the start line in Boston in 2021.

To learn more about Muddell’s running quest, visit “http://FromCancerToWMM.wix.com/boston”>FromCancerToWMM.wix.com/boston or @FromCancerToWMM on Instagram.