Had the Boston Marathon been run on Patriots’ Day in April of this
year, Tony Guttmannwould not have been able to run the race. He had contracted a severe case of COVID-19 in March. A visiting lecturer from London, England, apparently brought the disease to a mathematics conference in Tony’s hometown of Melbourne, Australia, and infected several people who attended his lecture or met with him, including Dr. Guttmann.
Tony, retired from the University of Melbourne after what a local newspaper described as “a long and fruitful career as one of Australia’s top mathematicians,” is part of what, over the past few months, has become a network, or community, made up of men, ages 75-79, who had qualified for and were entered in the 2020 Boston Marathon.
Another member of the network with a COVID-19 connection is Bob Johnstone, a practicing anesthesiologist at the medical school and hospital associated with West Virginia University. He is on the front lines treating COVID-19 patients.
The term “running community” did not exist in my part of the world in 1961 when I began running.I experienced the loneliness of the long distance runner. Much has changed in that regard. I am now part of a large running community in Shreveport, La., and using the Internet, I easily can contact