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Finding inspiration: A local and her granddaughter take on the challenge

Staff Writer

Photo courtesy Cindy Lister Cindy Lister and granddaughter Megan Lister take on the challenge of running their first 10K in Boulder over Memorial Day weekend. The duo, with 50 years of age between them, ran a strong race, crossing the finishing line in about an hour’s time.

Photo courtesy Cindy Lister
Cindy Lister and granddaughter Megan Lister take on the challenge of running their first 10K in Boulder over Memorial Day weekend. The duo, with 50 years of age between them, ran a strong race, crossing the finishing line in about an hour’s time.

With half of 2014 now in the past, it might be time to reexamine those New Year’s resolutions to see how they are coming along. If one of your goals for this year was to get out there and get in shape — you still have time.

Finding activities that are fun and inspiring, and that you can do with someone you care about, is important to overall, fitness success. And taking part in fun community races is a great way to keep yourself in tip-top shape while having a blast. Having fun with her family, while taking on a landmark challenge, is exactly what local resident Cindy Lister decided to do this year.

Lister, who you might recognize as one of La Plata Electric Association’s (LPEA) meter readers, ran in the BolderBOULDER 10 km race for the first time this year with her granddaughter Megan.

“My ten-year-old granddaughter (living in the Longmont area) called me and asked, ‘Grandma, will you run with me?’,” Lister told The SUN over the phone. And that was that.

Lister began training for the Memorial Day weekend race more than a month out, using the racing website’s daily training guide to get to the point where she needed to be. The website offers several training plans for participants of all abilities, ranging from plans titled “Couch to 10k” to intermediate-level routines.

While Lister does not consider herself to be an avid runner, she states that she is fairly consistent with a daily exercise routine — “I have to stay in good shape to do my job,” she says.

But the 10K was an entirely different endeavor for Lister to tackle — and it was something she took on not only as a physical challenge, but as a symbolic one.

“This (race) was a sort of a marker for me,” Lister said. “I thought, I’m going to turn 60 this year, and did this to kind of prove myself.”

Grandmother and granddaughter entered the race, which stretched more than 6 miles, as “run-walkers,” meaning that they anticipated they would be running the majority of the time, but would probably stop to walk some, too.

“We should have just entered as runners,” Megan’s grandmother stated, explaining that the two of them spent a lot of the race dodging people who were going slower than they were.

The pair, with more than 50 years between them, finished the race strong, coming into the Colorado University stadium and crossing the finish line in about an hour.

Lister said that she was proud of her granddaughter for finishing with the race, saying, “she could have quit at any time, but she stuck with it.”

The atmosphere of the BolderBOULDER tremendously helped the runners rise to the occasion.

“It was a wonderful race and lots of fun,” the 60-year-old racer stated. “They have lots of things to keep your mind off of the pain (of running).”

The course, which winds through the streets of Boulder and ends at the CU stadium, has bands stationed around almost every corner. Volunteers along the course put out a Slip ‘N Slide, offer snacks and refreshments, and street performers do their best to distract the runners as they race along.

The event website states, “Runner’s World doesn’t call this America’s All-Time Best 10K for nothing. Boulder knows how to party like we know how to run. We understand that sometimes running is about suffering, but BolderBOULDER is about having a great time. The experience includes … live bands every quarter mile, food, cheering, craziness, costumes, more cheering, the world’s largest Memorial Day celebration and a post event Expo the likes of which any ‘normal’ 10K can’t compete.”

Lister and her granddaughter had such a good time during the event that Lister thinks the pair will enter again next year — this time with possibly even more family members joining along.

Members of the family who came to cheer the duo on watched the race and saw people of all abilities crossing the finish line. Seeing people who did not look anything like avid runners completing the race inspired the family to say, “if they can do it, we can do it,” Lister said.

The race also inspired Megan to continue running this summer. The 10-year-old has entered into several summer track and field events and Lister anticipates her granddaughter’s love of running will continue.

Though taking on a big race like a 10K can seem intimidating, the racing website states that last year, the BolderBOULDER “welcomed over 55,000 runners of all shapes, sizes and speeds in more than 90 waves. That means whether you’re looking to walk, amble, trot, jog or set a personal record, there’s a place for you.”

And you do not have to travel all of the way to Boulder to experience the joy of racing for fun. Several events are offered in the Pagosa community each year — from the Doggie Dash and Dawdle, where you bring your four-legged friend along for the run, to the upcoming duathlon and community fundraiser for the local cross-country teams — opportunities are plenty for you to still follow through on those New Year’s resolutions.

shanti.johnson@pagosasun.com

This story was posted on July 10, 2014.