Murrays trace marathon roots


PICTOU — For Christina Murray and Bruce G. Murray, celebrating 25 years married by running their 25th marathon together in Greece is not their only highlight over that time.

Bruce can recall with fondness meeting Nova Scotia’s Marathon King, Johnny Miles, at the 1991 Boston Marathon.

“We were living in Vancouver at the time and flew into Boston,” he said. “We noticed a Pictou County booth was set up.”

From there, those hosting the booth realized Bruce had Pictou County connections. Bruce began to understand Miles’ connection to Pictou County as patron for the Johnny Miles Marathon.

“He was very pleasant and interested in talking about his races and the 98-cent running shoes he wore for his first Boston marathon in 1926,” Bruce said.

Miles joined the group in Boston. Part of his activity was signing copies of the book about him written by Floyd Williston, who both signed a copy for Bruce.

Bruce and Christina have run marathons and other distances during the annual Johnny Miles Running Event Weekend. Bruce completed the full marathon three times, while a hamstring injury forced him out of a fourth marathon.

He can also remember being at the starting line of the 1987 Johnny Miles marathon when it started and finished at the Aberdeen Mall. Famed Boston marathoner Bill Rodgers was a special guest and ran in the marathon.

“I was looking for Bill up front and couldn’t see him,” Bruce said. “I shook hands to wish good luck to the runner on my right and then the runner on my left — and it was Bill Rodgers. That’s what I find amazing about road racing. You can start at the line with the elite runners beside you. What other sport can you say that?”

Bruce also revealed how close he came to not running the marathon this year in Greece.

An injury prevented him from running for six months, but he slowly trained enough to complete it.

“It really showed how lucky I was to be able to run a marathon at age 55,” he said.

The Murrays’ next goal is to run the Great Wall of China marathon. They would also like to run in the London, England marathon.

From left: Nova Scotia’s Marathon King, Johnny Miles, met Christina Murray and Bruce G. Murray during the 1991 Boston Marathon. (Submitted photo)

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