By crossing the finish line of the St. Louis Go! marathon on April 7, Centre College alumnus Victor Pataky ’16 accomplished two major feats: completing his first-ever marathon—and winning it.
“It feels surreal,” Pataky said of his experience. “There are performances that you can’t believe happened, and this is definitely one of them for me. I have not been training specifically for the marathon this spring, as I am focusing more on the 3000m steeplechase for track at the moment.
“The time that I ran shocked me because of all the training circumstances leading up to the race,” he continued. “It was really cool being able to win in front of my new hometown, and it’s been slightly overwhelming with how many people know me now. It was awesome to represent Centre Alumni with Clinton Cahall ’11, who won the half marathon.”
Pataky has always enjoyed running, first as a member of his middle school track team, then becoming a cross country runner during his sophomore year in high school.
“When I first joined the middle school track team, I had fully intended to be a sprinter,” he added. “One of my friends said that the distance workout they did was the hardest thing in track, so I decided to prove him wrong and do it the first day I showed up. The coaches never let me leave the distance crew again.”
While at Centre, Pataky was on the track and cross country team, and last year, he had the opportunity to be one of the coaches.
“The experience I had while on the teams were priceless,” he said. “While being a student-athlete, the teams gave me a family on campus. The atmosphere we had at practice, while traveling, competing, and everywhere else fostered a love for the sport, lifelong friendships and countless life lessons.”
While the roles and responsibilities changed as a Centre coach, Pataky found that the experience was quite similar.
“It was amazing to see how much investment goes into these teams both from a coach’s and an athlete’s perspective,” he added. “The dedication, passion and enthusiasm seen day-in and day-out from the team truly shows what a great, upstanding family it is,” he concluded.
Pataky is currently training for a steeplechase race in May, and his summer racing schedule will be determined by how he performs there. If all goes well, Pataky could be running in the Music City Distance Carnival, and he will also participate in the Macklind Mile in St. Louis.
by Kerry Steinhofer
April 20, 2018
Photo courtesy of St. Louis GO!