Running to honor their father’s memory, Latrobe twins finish among leaders at Pittsburgh Marathon
Friday, May 6, 2022 | 8:13 PM
Latrobe twins Lexie and Lizzie Planinsek ran their first marathon May 1.
It probably won’t be their last.
The Latrobe seniors decided to skip their track season to prepare for the Pittsburgh Marathon, and they did it in honor of their father, the late (Michael) Nick Planinsek, who died unexpectedly July 31, 2020.
“I saw my dad’s life cut short and wanted to take advantage of all opportunities made available,” Lexie said.
Their father got his kids involved in different sports including running, golfing and skiing.
He would have been proud of how they finished.
Despite heavy rain, which made the hilly streets of Pittsburgh slippery, the twins trucked along at a steady and determined pace. By the time they finished the 26.2-mile course, they were proud of their achievements.
Lexie finished 10th overall and first in the 19-and-younger division, and Lizzie finished 171st overall and third in the 19-and-younger age group. South Fayette grad Nicole Hilton won the marathon in a time of 2 hours, 49 minutes, 49 seconds.
Lexie was hoping to run 3:30 but shocked herself by running 3:11.43. Lizzie was hoping to run 3:45 but settled for a 3:57.14.
Lexie qualified to run in the 2023 Boston Marathon, something she plans to do while going to college at Dayton. The twins ran cross country for Latrobe.
“I definitely shocked myself,” Lexie said. “What helped me throughout the race was all the support I received from my family, school and people I didn’t even know who encouraged me. They helped me push forward.”
Lexie said she and her sister decided to run the marathon to take advantage of God-given abilities and not live to regret.
“Running the marathon was on my bucket list,” Lexie said. “We definitely will run more marathons and maybe an Iron Man competition.”
Lizzie said that while she didn’t achieve the time she was hoping for, she was proud of how she ran.
“I wanted to finish exhausted,” Lizzie said. “I was so happy to finish.”
Lizzie will also attend Dayton.
Wendy Planinsek, the girls’ mother, said they trained on their own.
“They got on the internet and learned how to train properly,” Wendy said. “It was really a great day for both of them. I’m so proud.”
Latrobe cross country coach Todd Simpson said his going to miss the Planinsek twins. Both were part of his team for the past six years.
“Both were captains their season year,” Simpson said. “Both are super nice kids.”
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Paul by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
More Cross Country• Gateway runner Kefimba Cisse gains confidence ahead of postseason races
• Junior embraces competition, camaraderie of cross country
• Westmoreland County Senior Spotlight: Hempfield’s Cydney Blahovec
• A-K Valley Senior Spotlight: Burrell’s Kadi Bauer
• Talented sophomores pacing defending PIAA champion North Allegheny cross country teams