Jackie Pirtle-Hall Marathon Winner Q&A

10 Apr

Jackie just recently ran an amazing race at the Go! St. Louis Marathon last weekend, winning, and qualifying for her second Olympic Marathon Trials.  She qualified in 2012, narrowly missed the time in 2016, by a few seconds, and now has punched her ticket to the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.  We ask her a few questions about marathoning and her recent race.

jackie (2)

Amazing race and time at the Go! Marathon, tell us how the race broke or went down for you? I just tried to stay as calm, and  in a rhythm for as long as I could. When I realized 2nd woman was coming up on me at mile 10, I realized I needed to start pressing each mile and not look back. I had to stay confident and focused and not let my emotions take over. I felt great until mile 22, when my IT bands started to hurt.  I just kept trying to not get emotional and take it one mile at a time. When I got to mile 25 I  realized I was going to get the OTQ (Olympic Trials Qualifying) time.  So, I ran a 5:46 pace into the finish. I was so happy!

Did you know you were going to attempt the Olympic Trials Qualifier time headed into the race? Before I got sick I secretly knew I could do it but that wasn’t the goal. I went into the race just wanting to finish and go for the win.

How was qualifying for this Olympic trials different than last time for you? So, it was way different, since I was surprised.  I got to keep some of the emotion out of it and just press and run… The surprise made the emotional high that much more amazing!

This was win #3 for you at the Go! Marathon, what draws you back to the Go!? And how was this win different? I like not having to travel and also running in my hometown.  I feel proud running with and for our strong St. Louis running community. When I run in front of people who expect performances, it makes it emotionally hard.  But, I like stepping up to a challenge that scares me. It’s so much easier to go and compete at a race no one can see or hear about the results…I can take the emotion and expectations out of it… But, when I put myself out there and follow through, to me that’s courageous.  Show up- face your fears- don’t be afraid to fail… and when you succeed, the result is so much more satisfying.

How was your final training preparation leading into the Go!? Anything different than past marathons?  I had to do some 10k sessions to get some of my foot speed lost during all my trail running I did for Pikes Peak Marathon (last year). It was hard but fun!

What is your favorite marathon dinner? Pancakes the day before, protein after the race.

What is your favorite training fuel? Gu is just so easy, but also Gu Roctane fluid for hard long sessions.

Why do you love the marathon? It really tests character and strength; it’s hard.

What is your favorite training area or trail in St. Louis? Forest Park and Katy trail.

The Runnababez look forward to Jackie competing in the Olympic Marathon Trials in 2020!  Will you be next to step up to your goals and challenges? Whether trying to qualify for the Olympic Trials, Boston, PR? Jackie and the Runnababez love a challenge. Embrace the pain and get to work!  Go for your goals!


“We must embrace the pain, and burn it as fuel for our journey.” – Kenji Miyazawa

Fun. Fast. Fabulous!



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