Bristol native who’s run in 38 Boston Marathons refuses to let COVID-19 break his streak

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12 Salutes Local Veterans on WPRI.com

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) ─ John Ratier of the Quarter Century Club hasn’t missed a Boston Marathon in decades, and he wasn’t about to let COVID-19 break his streak.

At 62, the Bristol native said he’s run 38 marathons in a row. When organizers decided to host the marathon virtually this year due to COVID-19, Ratier mapped out his own 26.2 miles around his home in South Carolina.

He finished the run in four hours and 10 minutes.

“It was the easiest one I’ve done in years and the fastest one I’ve done in years and I wasn’t sore afterwards,” he said. “It kind of shows how tough the Boston course is.”

Two members of the Rhode Island State Police also ran their own marathon.

Sgt. Peter Cambio and Trooper Roupen Bastajian raised more than $15,000 for Cops For Kids With Cancer during their virtual run.

Both Bastajian and Ratier ran the marathon back in 2013 when the bombing occurred on Boylston Street.

“All of a sudden, everything erupted and there were police men, firefighters all over and the smell of burning gun powder,” Ratier recalled.

Ratier said each year has been a unique experience for him. He said running it from home makes him realize just how special other runners and cheering supporters are.

“The crowd is just unbelievable for the longest way, so the crowd really carries you in that race,” he said. “That’s the one big difference in that race. That’s the one big difference of this year versus other years.”

Ratier said he wants to run the Boston Marathon two more times to reach his goal of running 40 consecutive races.

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