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Prince George marathoners join elite company

Tokyo race on March 5 completed the Six Star Medal accomplishment
Prince George marathon runners Michael Wells, left, and Jacqui Pettersen hold the Six Star Medals they were presented in Tokyo, Japan on March 5 after they completed all six major world marathons.

Michael Wells started down the path to complete all six Abbott World Marathon Majors eight years ago when he ran the Boston Marathon.

He did the Berlin Marathon in 2016, New York in 2017, Chicago and London in 2018, and was all set to check Tokyo off his list in 2020 when, just two weeks before the race, COVID hit.

Last year he did London again and obliterated his 2018 time and on March 5 he took another shot at racing in Tokyo.

The 73-year-old Summit Lake resident has now joined an elite group of 281 Canadian men to complete the six majors, finishing the Tokyo course in 5:08:40.

“Tokyo was exciting, a beautiful city and great people - it’s stunning and the race was exceptional, the weather was perfect,” said Wells.

“The course was flat, way too long, with lots of corners but at my speed it didn’t seem too restrictive.”

Wells started and finished with longtime Prince George buddy, Brian Cadden, 73, who now lives in Nova Scotia.

Of the six, Wells rates New York as his favourite.

“The city is just immense and varied, it rained the whole marathon, but it was just the experience of the city - the people were loud and boisterous and we finished n Central Park,” he said.

Jacqui Pettersen of Prince George, 51, also earned her Six Star Medal after posting a Tokyo time 3:05:46.

Pettersen runs semi-elite marathon times quick enough to qualify her for the majors. Wells got in by joining a charity.

“The challenge of accomplishing what Jacqui and I have done is not running the races, just about anybody can do that, it’s getting into them,” said Wells. “If you go through the lottery, Tokyo had 350,000 applications worldwide for 37,500 spots. ”