EL PASO, TEXAS (KTSM) – In the first marathon of his life, San Antonio native Joe Morales put in a show to win the 2020 Michelob Ultra El Paso Marathon on Sunday.
Normally an ultra-marathoner, Morales joined a friend in El Paso and surged past the rest of the field to a victory in three hours flat to win the 14th annual El Paso Marathon.
“I just wanted a sub-3 (hour time),” Morales said. “That’s it. Yesterday was my birthday, so I’m 32 years old and I thought I’d just go for it. It’s special to be over here and be a part of your community today.”
On the women’s side, El Paso native Perla Retana finished first in three hours and 27 minutes.
In the half marathon, 18-year-old New Mexico State student Anekin Hetman was victorious in 1 hour, 12 minutes. Kellie Nickerson was the first woman to finish the half marathon, in her first race since having a baby nine months ago.
“I’m just elated,” Nickerson said. “I was afraid to ever have kids because I thought it would derail my running career and to see that I can be a mom and run strong and competitively just makes me feel really encouraged and empowered and happy.”
Nickerson will be competing at the Boston Marathon in April. The El Paso Marathon is an official qualifying race for the Boston Marathon.