Two-time Olympic trials marathoner, former WVU standout to compete in Distance Run

Clara Grandt Santucci, a two-time U.S. Olympic Trials marathoner and former four-time All-America runner at West Virginia University, will compete Sept. 3 in the Charleston Distance Run. ** (Photo Courtesy of WVU Athletic Communications)

Participants in the Charleston Distance Run this year will be in fast company as they will be towing the line with a former four-time All-America runner at West Virginia University and two-time U.S. Olympic trials marathoner.

Clara Grandt Santucci will compete in America’s 15-miler Sept. 3 when the 44th edition of the race begins at 7:30 a.m. on Kanawha Boulevard across from the West Virginia State Capitol, race organizers said.

At WVU, Santucci had a sterling career, where she won All-America honors four times, according to information from the university’s athletic department. She was recognized twice with All-America distinction during her senior year in 2009 – in cross country and track. Santucci capped off her career with a fourth place in the 10,000-meter race in the NCAA outdoor track and field championship.

Distance running did not stop once she graduated from WVU as she has blossomed as a marathoner. Runner’s World magazine’s online edition did a story about her in 2011 when she broke the 2 hour and 30 minute marathon barrier at the Boston Marathon.

Santucci has won the women’s division of the Pittsburgh Marathon twice and has participated in the U.S. Olympic Trials in the marathon twice. reported she was recognized as one of the top 10 ranked U.S. marathoners by Track & Field News from 2011 to 2014.

While this will be the first time she has run the Charleston Distance Run, she said she has always wanted to be part of the classic race.

“I grew up in West Virginia and was always interested in and ran several local West Virginia races. I could not run the more professional road races in college, such as the Charleston Distance Run, but this race has always been on my radar,” Santucci told

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