Mile News

Elle St. Pierre is faster than ever after having her son

May 12, 2024

Middle-distance star runner has set multiple American records this year before her son Ivan even turned 1; eyes return to Olympics in Paris

By Julie Mazziotta, PEOPLE

Moments after Elle St. Pierre sprinted to a World Indoor Championship gold medal in the 3000m on March 2, setting an American record with a time of 8:20.87, she was sizing up a stranger in the stands, trying to decide if she could race him down.

St. Pierre was trying to get her son Ivan, who would turn 1 two days later, to bring him around as she celebrated her win, and the only way for her husband Jamie to get Ivan from the stands to her on the track was to momentarily hand him to a stranger.

“I'm like, ‘Okay, I'm pretty sure I can catch this guy if he starts to take off with Ivan,’ ” she tells PEOPLE with a laugh.

Moments like that — celebrating a World Championship win with her son by her side — is the fulfillment of what St. Pierre, 29, has long dreamed of.

In 2022, fresh off the Tokyo Olympics and a silver medal at World Indoor Championships, she announced that she and Jamie were expecting their first child the next March. For years, the belief was that female athletes had to wait until their prime career years were over to start a family, if they could at all. But stars like St. Pierre are changing that notion.

She continued to run and compete during her pregnancy, and has come back even stronger postpartum. St. Pierre kicked off 2024 with an American indoor record in the Mile and a second with her 3000m World title.

St. Pierre says she “just followed my heart” when she and Jamie decided it was time to have a baby.

“It was something that I thought about a lot and hoped for and wished for, and the timing is never right. It's never perfect, but it's going to be tough no matter what. Your life is busy and if you have a career, you're busy and you're driven and you're doing big things. But this was something that Jamie and I always wanted and I think that it's really worked out well.”

The Vermont native credits her sponsors like New Balance for making it possible, but she also believes we’re in a “new era” of understanding that women can be athletes and moms.

“It's a different time now than it was 50 years ago, and more and more women are breaking down the barriers and saying, yes, we can do this,” she says. “And it does take more support, I will say that, but it's not impossible, and these women are just going out there and showing everybody how tough they are and how capable we are.”

She showed those capabilities at World Indoor Championships as she did her post-win interviews with Ivan in her arms, a moment she says felt “full circle.”

“The day that I won was actually his due date,” St. Pierre says. “So going into the race I had that in the back of my mind. I knew I thought it would be good luck.”

“To come back and to be able to do this a year later was more than I had maybe even hoped for, to win a World Championship a year after having a baby.”

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Tags: world indoor championships (9) , elinor purrier (29) , american record (26)

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