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Vinton-Shellsburg High School was well represented October 20 at the IMT Des Moines Marathon. To be more specific, VSHS’s 2nd hour physical education class was well represented.

V-S PE teacher (and girls’ track coach) Heather Kalous, special education associate Veronica Eberling and V-S junior Sage Holmes all competed in different races in the event that Sunday morning. Sage ran the Special Olympics Iowa’s portion of the 5K race, Heather ran the half-marathon and Veronica the full marathon.

Sage, who runs for the Viking cross-country and track teams as well as VSU Special Olympics was paired with a “Unified Partner” runner for the race. He was introduced as “Todd” before the race, but after the race we discovered that Todd was actually Todd Stepsis, the head football coach at Drake University.

“It was a lot of fun meeting Todd,” Sage said. “I didn’t run my best time, but it was really a fun weekend.”

“I’m a football guy, not a runner,” Todd said. “I’m afraid I slowed us down, but I had a blast running with Sage!”

Heather, who has run quite a few 13.1-mile half-marathons over the years had the added fun of running with her daughter Hannah. Hannah, a sophomore at Iowa State and a former standout runner for the Vikette track team, was running her first half-marathon.

“It was a lot of fun running with Hannah,” Heather said. “When we first started training she wasn’t sure she could do it or not and in training the furthest she went was 11 miles. So when we passed the 11-mile mark she was pretty excited about it.”

Veronica has been running a 26.2-mile marathon a year since 2015 — with one year off — and plans on keeping that going.

“I was really happy with this race,” she said. It was the first time I’ve ever broken four hours so that was a personal best. Now I’ll start training for next year’s race."

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