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ALTON – Mary Kronable’s run from downtown Belleville to Signal Hill and then on to Southwestern Illinois College resulted in an October story and photo in The Telegraph. More importantly, the trek also meant a spot in the 2020 Boston Marathon.
Kronable, 31, a nurse at Alton Memorial Hospital, was the winner of the Sept. 28 Belleville Main Street Marathon. With that victory, came an automatic qualifying spot in the next Boston Marathon, set for April 20.
And no one was more surprised than her.
“Winning was amazing because I went into this with very low expectations,” she said. “I didn’t realize I had switched with a co-worker and came in the day before the race to find out I was on call that night. I ended up working until 9:30 that night.
“The cafeteria was closed by the time we got a short window of opportunity to eat. All that was available was a little bag of pretzels from the doctors lounge, so that was my dinner. All my normal pre-race routine went out the window. I went home and slept and woke up with the mindset, ‘I have trained for this and it is going to be what it is going to be, I have nothing to lose.’ I went out with heart, and shocked myself on little sleep and not much food in my belly.”
Kronable, of Godfrey, attended Marquette Catholic High School and then Quincy University on a softball scholarship. She later studied at Blessing-Rieman College of Nursing in Quincy.
Kronable, 31, had a winning time of 3:27:33. Nicolette Schnettgoecke, 19, finished in second place in a time of 3:32:06. Raechel Tinius, 31, finished third in 3:34:05.
In the men’s division, Jon Yoch finished first in 2:57:55. Jason Seger was second in 3:09:36 and Jerod Honrath came in third in a time of 3:10:49.
The top eight of the total finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon, the oldest and, aside from the Olympic Marathon, the most prestigious of marathons.
The Belleville course started downtown and stretched to the Signal Hill neighborhood to the west and Brookmeadow Estates near Southwestern Illinois College to the east. More than 200 runners took part in the fourth annual race. The 2020 marathon is scheduled for Sept. 26.
Kronable’s manager at Alton Memorial, Cathy Wagner, said, “Mary is a wonderful caring nurse who is always smiling. She is a joy to work with.
“I was walking in one morning, and she was slightly jogging behind me and passed me quickly. In an attempt to encourage her, told her I knew she could run faster than that!”
Kronable, who has been running two years, started training for the Go STL half marathon in 2018. That was her first distance longer than a 5K.
“I usually wake up at 4 a.m. to get my runs in before the kids are awake, Kronable said. “I’me very close to 1,000 miles for this year, but my distance varies depending on what I am training for at the time.”
Kronable ran in the Go St. Louis Marathon earlier this year. The Belleville Main Street Marathon was only her second one of the full 26.2 miles. She ran an ultra-marathon called Dark 2 Dawn last summer in St. Charles and recently signed up for a 50k ultra-marathon next May in Bryce Canyon, Utah.
“I train as much as I can whenever I can,” Kronable said. “It’s hard to plan training because not only do I take call and work full time but I also have three children (ages 6, 4, and 2). Their dad lives in Texas, so I have to rely on my amazing family to help support my running habit.”