Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2 St. Louis Natives Take Different Paths to Win Marathon

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

2 St. Louis Natives Take Different Paths to Win Marathon

Article excerpt

Michael Kettler ran his first marathon last fall in Chicago, and after winning the Go! St. Louis marathon Sunday in his second attempt at 26.2 miles, he's not sure that he'll run another.

Jackie Pirtle-Hall has run four marathons in the time since Kettler got started, and she was already thinking about the next one after winning in St. Louis for the second time in five years.

The two St. Louis natives have taken different paths in their running pursuits, but they ended with the same result and the same $1,500 prize money.

Both won by comfortable margins of around 5 minutes with Kettler finishing in 2 hours, 23 minutes and 19 seconds and Pirtle-Hall in 2:49.25. Both were well in front of the pack from the start.

"I didn't race with anybody," Kettler said. "At mile 8, I asked the cyclist with me about the marathon status. He said, 'If I'm doing my job, you're in first.'"

Pirtle-Hall was off the record time of 2:42.03 she established the first time she won in 2012. However, she was just happy to be running at all after being sick most of the week and thinking she might have to withdraw.

"I just wanted to win and have a good time doing it," she said. "In some marathons when you're really competing and need a certain time, there's more suffering involved. This one wasn't easy, but it was fun."

The two winners met afterward and shared a congratulatory moment, having met previously through mutual running friends.

Pirtle-Hall has been on the local running scene since she was in the fifth grade, having run in high school and college and right into parenthood. Kettler, 36, started in his early 20s and then quit for about 10 years until 2014 when he moved to Colorado.

Both train with the support of a team.

The two-time St. Louis winner recently created a team with other runners called Runnababez Elite for women who balance hectic lives. Pirtle-Hall is a mother and teacher at Holt High School and must wake up at 4:15 a.m. on weekdays to fit runs into her schedule. …

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