A group of runners from southeastern Manitoba took part in the virtual Manitoba Marathon on Sunday.

Local runner Greg Penner says normally the Manitoba Marathon takes place in Winnipeg with the finish line located at IG Field, however, this year runners could participate anywhere and send in their times.

"When the race cancelled we had many from our run group or friends or family that had been training for it, so we decided to put on our own private event and we did that in Steinbach on Sunday morning which was the day that the marathon was, of course, to be held. We had about 35 runners all told."

In an effort to make sure they were following all provincial regulations, Penner says they had staggered starts to keep people somewhat separate. In addition, he notes they had a 4.5 kilometre course winding around Abe’s Hill and through the Bushfarm Park area so there was lots of room for spectators to spread out.

Penner says it was great to see all of the people that had trained hard for the race get to complete the event among friends and family. He notes the intimate setting made for a very special race.

"The Manitoba Marathon had sent us supplies, our finishing medals so we got everyone's family or a friend, whoever they wanted to give them their medal at the end. They were there at the finish line. There were a lot of exhausted but exhilarated faces as their kids handed them their medals. Some people, we actually had their kids run the last kilometre with them so that is really neat and makes it really personal."