MISSOULA – Let’s run back to July. A very hot day in Missoula comes in at number five on our countdown of the best sports stories of the year in Western Montana.

Kenyan Geofrey Terer repeated as champ in the men’s Missoula Marathon. Spokane’s Bryanna Petrie broke through for first in the women’s race after taking second twice before. But one Kalispell native that finished an hour and a half later drew the most attention.

Theresa Marie Pitts had never before run a long distance race. But the 38-year old mother of 8 took her three youngest kids through the half-marathon in Helena’s Governor’s Cup in June. And she set a world record for the fastest time while pushing a three-kid stroller.

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So then Pitts took on the full 26.2 mile marathon in Missoula looking for another world record. She somehow found the strength and endurance to heave 145-pounds of stroller and kids across the finish line with five minutes to spare, finishing in four hours and 25 minutes.

“I was completely exhausted. I was in a lot of pain. I was feeling sick,” admitted Pitts. “And then I saw the 4:30 pacers pass me. I’m like, ‘Oh my gosh.’ It took everything I had to stay with those 4:30 pacers. Somehow I tapped into an extra reserve tank that I never knew I had.”

Pitts broke her own half marathon record again in Billings in September.

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