Billiken Mascot Makes a Big Splash In New York

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ST. LOUIS, MO. (KTVI) – Janet Oberle knows all about the Billiken.

‘A Billiken is actually a Chinese symbol of good luck,’ says Janet Oberle the St. Louis University Associate Director of Athletics.

But it wasn’t luck that found this Midwestern mascot in the New York 1/2 marathon this past weekend, just some coordination.

‘My brother Kevin and his good friend Josh had talked about the fact that they could split the 13.1 miles wearing the Billiken`s suit,’ says Oberle.

After a call to his sister Janet and the SLU basketball team in town for the Atlantic 10 Championship, a plan was hatched.
The two took part of the costume and were off to make a big impression on the big apple.

‘They ran it with the Billiken suit on in two hours and three minutes,’ says Oberle.

This wasn`t easy considering they had no peripheral vision and 15,000 runners to contend with.

‘My brother, Kevin’s comment was that if you want people to cheer you on when you run is to wear a Billiken`s costume cause people loved it.,’ says Oberle

So did the New York City transit system where the night before the Billiken boarded a train.

‘So you know he was carb loading on Saturday night,’ says Oberle.   ‘He was enjoying the subway and then got up early and did the marathon before transition back so he could be at the game to win that championship.’

A marathon and a magical run into the NCAA championship, sounds like a lucky combination for success.

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