Runners pass by arches in Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon

Some St. Thomas students, alumni and staff put on their running shoes Sunday, Oct. 3 for the 29th annual Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon, “the most beautiful urban marathon in America,” according to the marathon’s slogan.

Runners passed by the St. Thomas arches during the 26-mile course.  The marathon began near the Hubert H. Humphrey Metrodome in downtown Minneapolis, and continued past Lakes Calhoun, Harriet and Nokomis, the Mississippi River and St. Thomas, and it ended at the Minnesota State Capitol.

Participants in the marathon were greeted by family and friends at intervals throughout the course, and were cheered on by complete strangers as well.

Kevin Cattoor, St. Thomas class of ‘77, and Debbie Cattoor were in front of the St. Thomas arches to cheer on their son, Pat Cattoor, St. Thomas class of ’09. The family members were waving a purple St. Thomas flag high above their heads as a marker for the runners they knew in the race.

Sophomores Charlie Peterson and Geena Maharaj both finished the Medtronic Twin Cities Marathon Sunday. Both students began training with similar 16-week training programs, but neither had a coach.

“One funny thing was … when everyone was saying four more miles, I was thinking I can’t even go four more steps,” said Peterson.

Peterson finished the course in 4:20:53. He had never run a full marathon before Sunday, and said that miles 13 through 20 were the toughest miles to complete. He said the best part was when he saw his family and friends cheering for him at St. Thomas

“I felt unbelievable once I crossed the finish. It’s ridiculous. I’ve never felt like this before,” Peterson said. “I feel so incredibly accomplished.”

Maharaj was thankful her dad was there to push her through the last leg of the race. She finished the course in 4:45:17.

“It was the most painful experience of my life, albeit, it taught me determination, discipline, and strength,” Maharaj said.

Both Peterson and Maharaj plan to run more marathons in the future because they had such transforming experiences. But right now, Peterson said he is going to take at least a weeklong break from running.

Kristi Battarbee can be reached at