Chelley Carvelli was one of four runners who took part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. See more photos at the bottom of story. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Chelley Carvelli was one of four runners who took part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. See more photos at the bottom of story. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Fraser Valley trainer brings ‘San Juasn’t’ half marathon to her team after race cancelled in U.S.

It was a full half-marathon experience for just four runners with spectators, noise-makers and more

When a half marathon south of the border was cancelled, one Chilliwack trainer decided to bring her own 21-kilometre run to her team on the weekend.

Shelley Hatfield created the “San Juasn’t” half marathon after the 2020 San Juan Island Half in Washington State was postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“They have been training together for this over a year with me, some were walkers,” trainer Shelley Hatfield said. “This is a very big deal and also a huge disappointment as we were doing it as a trip as well.”

Despite the cancellation of the U.S. run the team, made up of six women plus Hatfield, continued to train leading up to the big day, May 16, which was the same day the San Juan Island Half was scheduled.

At the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, the women used two-metre long pieces of pink rope to physically distance themselves. After several weeks, once they had a good feel for the distance, they ditched the ropes and soon they were ready for their first half marathon.

But it wasn’t just the race route Hatfield brought to her team on Saturday – which weaved through residential areas in Sardis, along the Vedder River, and past the Great Blue Heron Nature Reserve – she went all out, bringing the full experience of a long-distance running event to them.

On May 16, the airhorn sounded and they were off. Hatfield was at the front on the lead bike, and her four runners dressed in tutus and bright colours were behind her. They ran it together as a team, even though only four of the six women were able to do the run that day.

Hatfield called on friends, neighbours and family to come cheer them on. The runners were bombarded with squirt guns and bubbles along the course, while others cheered, clapped, used noise-makers and shook pom-poms. There were even marathon bibs, several water and fuel stops, plus sponge stations.

Elite runners came out to support them while others dressed in dinosaur, unicorn and Storm Trooper costumes took part as well.

It was all a surprise to the four runners who smiled and cheered right back at the spectators.

Here are some other stories about people in our community who are giving back:

Chilliwack fitness instructor caters to senior students, moves classes outside, makes them free

Chilliwack woman delivers smiles in the form of free flowers to people who need a pick-me-up


 

Do you have something to add to this story, or something else we should report on?
Email: jenna.hauck@theprogress.com
Twitter: @PhotoJennalism

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Coronavirusrunning

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Shelley Hatfield leads her team through the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Runners take part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Runners take part in the “San Juasn’t” half marathon on Saturday, May 16, 2020. The event was created by trainer Shelley Hatfield after the San Juan Island Half, which her team trained more than a year for, was cancelled. (Jenna Hauck/ The Progress)

Just Posted

B.C.’s parliament buildings in Victoria. (Photo: Tom Fletcher)
Surrey gets two cabinet ministers, a parliamentary secretary and government whip

Premier John Horgan’s NDP MLAs were sworn in on Tuesday and the cabinet was revealed Thursday afternoon

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Brenda Locke trying to breathe life into Surrey’s defunct Public Safety Committee

Surrey councillor’s motion will be up for debate at a future council meeting

The Festival of Lights; Jingle Bell White Rock; and the Lighted Boat Parade all helped light up the White Rock waterfront on Saturday, Dec. 7. (Aaron Hinks photo)
White Rock Festival of Lights postponed

While event founder remains optimistic, the future of this year’s display is uncertain

RCMP logo
Keen-eyed neighbour’s call to police helps stop South Surrey burglary in progress

Mounties were on the way before suspects triggered home alarm

Delta North MLA Ravi Kahlon was sworn in as minister of minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation by B.C. Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin and Premier John Horgan during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 26, 2020. (Province of BC/YouTube screen shot)
BREAKING: Kahlon named minister of jobs, economic recovery and innovation

Kahlon was sworn in by Lt.-Gov. Janet Austin during a virtual ceremony on Thursday, Nov. 26

(Photo: Amy Reid)
VIDEO: 2020 Community Leader Awards recognize Surrey’s unsung heroes

They don’t often receive recognition and don’t necessarily have a high profile in the community

The baby boy born to Gillian and Dave McIntosh of Abbotsford was released from hospital on Wednesday (Nov. 25) while Gillian continues to fight for her life after being diagnosed with COVID-19.
Abbotsford mom with COVID-19 still fighting for life while newborn baby comes home

Son was delivered Nov. 10 while Gillian McIntosh was in an induced coma

B.C. Premier John Horgan, a Star Trek fan, can’t resist a Vulcan salute as he takes the oath of office for a second term in Victoria, Nov. 26, 2020. (B.C. government)
Horgan names 20-member cabinet with same pandemic team

New faces in education, finance, economic recovery

A new ‘soft reporting’ room is opening inside the Ann Davis Transition Society offices on Dec. 1, 2020 which is thought to be the first of its kind in B.C. (Ann Davis Transitional Society/ Facebook)
New ‘trauma-informed’ reporting room opening next week in Chilliwack

It’s a space for reporting domestic violence, sexual assault, or gender-based violence to police

The corporate headquarters of Pfizer Canada are seen in Montreal, Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. The chief medical adviser at Health Canada says Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine could be approved in Canada next month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Health Canada expects first COVID-19 vaccine to be approved next month

Canada has a purchase deal to buy at least 20 million doses of Pfizer’s vaccine,

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

The online poster for Joel Goddard, who left his Willoughby home Nov. 10, 2020, has been updated by his family and friends who received word that he’s been found.
Langley man missing since Nov. 10 found alive and safe in Abbotsford

Family of the Willoughby area man had been searching for days. Police find him at Abbotsford Airport

A UBC study recommends an multi-government investment of $381 million to protect 102 species at risk in the Fraser River estuary. (Photo supplied by Yuri Choufour)
102 Fraser River estuary species at risk of extinction, researchers warn

UBC team develops $381-million strategy to combat crisis, boost economy

FILE – A paramedic holds a test tube containing a blood sample during an antibody testing program at the Hollymore Ambulance Hub, in Birmingham, England, on Friday, June 5, 2020. (Simon Dawson/Pool via AP)
Want to know if you’ve had COVID-19? LifeLabs is offering an antibody test

Test costs $75 and is available in B.C. and Ontario

Most Read