WV Press InSight Videos

Winning marathoner credits humble W.Va. roots

CLARKSBURG, W.Va. — Four years and a week ago, the prestigious Runners World Magazine began a story on a budding star in the distance running world this way:

“So who the heck is Clara Grandt and how did she run 2:29:54 in her marathon debut on Monday?”

 They know now.

On Sunday, Clara Grandt, now Clara Grandt Santucci, won the women’s division of the Pittsburgh Marathon.

For the second straight year.

You probably remember her as a high school star at Doddridge County or as an All-American runner at West Virginia University.

If you don’t, it is time to introduce you to her — for her tale is a tale worth telling, or retelling if that is the case.

OK, her story probably isn’t quite as stirring as those with some of the Ethiopian runners who talk of running across mountains and deserts for miles and hours on end in their bare feet, unable to afford three meals a day, let alone a pair of Nike running shoes.

But it also isn’t the story you normally read here in America, the land of plenty.

Santucci didn’t have very much plenty growing up in West Union, living in a one-room school house with five brothers and sisters and her parents…

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