Courtesy Meredith Fitzmaurice Meredith Fitzmaurice runs during an event in Detroit.

Come for the half marathon, stay for the full marathon.

Meredith Fitzmaurice celebrated her win at Sunday’s Run for Heroes Marathon in Amherstburg, despite not having entered the race.

The runner from Belle River, Ont. had signed up for the 21.1-kilometre half marathon, but after a wrong turn landed her on the full marathon course, she just kept going.

“As I was looking at my watch, I was thinking something’s wrong. Where’s the finish line?” she said.

After realizing her mistake, the 34-year-old teacher checked with a race official to see if she would be eligible to finish.

“The guy was awesome,” she said. “And once he said I was good to go, my adrenaline just kicked in.”

In the end, Fitzmaurice finished her very first marathon with a time of 3:11:48. She was the first woman to cross the finish line and tenth overall.

“I didn’t even realize I was the first female until people started yelling at me and high-fiving me,” she said. “Once I crossed the finish line and realized the magnitude of what I had done, I started crying.”

Fitzmaurice’s time was good enough to qualify her for the Boston Marathon.

“I think this year is full, but knowing myself, I’ll do it next year for sure,” she said.

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