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Santucci headed for Charleston Distance Run

Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo by The Associated Press Clara Santucci will compete in her first Charleston Distance Run this week.
Charleston Gazette-Mail file photo by The Associated Press
Clara Santucci will compete in her first Charleston Distance Run this week.

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — Before injury dashed her dreams, distance runner Clara Santucci lined up at the 2016 Olympic marathon trials in February ready to chase down the ultimate prize in representing Team USA. On Saturday, Santucci will lead the crowd of nearly 1,000 expected runners at the 44th annual Charleston Distance Run.

A hamstring injury forced the 29-year-old Santucci, a favorite to represent the U.S. team, from the trials at mile 15. Now healthy with eyes toward the 2020 Olympics, Santucci will focus her first steps on the heralded 15-mile Distance Run course.

“This just seemed like a good year to do it and growing up in West Virginia, it’s always been a bucket list race to do here,” she said. “I’m really happy to be part of it now.”

Santucci, a two-time Pittsburgh Marathon winner with top-20 performances at Boston and Chicago, too, now relishes the opportunity to run after a disappointing trials…

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