Boston Marathon to be next challenge for much-sleeker Cañon City runner

by | Apr 1, 2003 | News Articles

April, 2003 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Boston Marathon to be next challenge for much-sleeker Cañon City runner

Old friends who haven’t seen Vicki Williams in five years might not recognize her today. Back then, she certainly wouldn’t have been capable of running a marathon, much less a Boston Marathon that requires a qualifying time.

But that’s exactly what the Cañon City resident will be doing on April 21 when the 107th running of the tradition-rich Boston race takes place on the point-to-point course from Hopkinton to Boston. The 34-year-old easily met her age and gender qualifying time of 3 hours and 40 minutes with a sterling 3:30:13 clocking in the Motorola Austin (TX) Marathon in February 2002.

That was just her second marathon. In her first, she ran a 3:45 in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Diego in June 2000.

She’s a natural, isn’t she? Been running all her life, right? Well, actually, no.

Williams is a Port Jervis, NY native who moved to Colorado five years ago when she took a transfer to Florence with the Federal Bureau of Prisons to do office and budget work at the Super Max. Upon arriving, she began looking for a way to reduce the little bit of, uh, excess baggage she was toting around.

Running was something she seemed to enjoy from the get-go. A little bit of training turned into her first race — a 5-kilometer prediction race in Colorado Springs where she just got under her estimated time of 30 minutes. Things just took off from there.

“Five Ks turned into 10Ks turned into half-marathons,” Williams said with a bit of a chuckle.

Oh, and along the way she shed 50 pounds, most of which she had carried throughout her 20s.

“I lost a third of myself,” said the 5-foot-5, 115-pounder. “I found out you’re only as old as you feel.”

With all the training miles she does now, Vicki finds she has to eat extra just to try to maintain her weight. Besides the running, she also burns calories through plenty of the outdoor activities for which Colorado is splendorous — like skiing, mountain biking and hiking.

With trail running her real passion, Williams has done such races as the Pikes Peak Ascent (twice, with a best of 3:40 in 2000), the 17-mile up-and-down Imogene Pass Run (4:20) and is getting into adventure racing. But she’s also been on the roads to run the Rock Canyon Half-Marathon the last four years (a 1:43 best) and such shorter races as the recent Frostbite Five (38:15).

Of course, there also are the two marathons, for which she followed Hal Higdon’s 18-week training program. She has used the national running author’s more advanced 18-week program to train for Boston and got her running base up to 50-mile weeks.

Having gotten her last long run (a 20-miler) out of the way last Sunday and now recovered from a recent case of pneumonia, Vicki has started tapering for Boston and feels she is ready.

Being in Beantown also will be especially emotional since her family will be making the trip from New York (less than five hours away) to see her. Vicki noted this will be the first time they’ve ever seen her run.

When she returns to Colorado, she’ll be busy getting ready for her June wedding to Kerry Meier, who is a property officer for the FBOP. Befitting their outdoorsy lifestyles, the wedding will take place on top of Keystone Mountain at the ski resort.

Williams will be the only runner from this area doing Boston. Pueblo’s Katherine Frank Dvorsky, who has finished it twice and was registered to run it this year, suffered a severe muscle pull that has caused her to cancel her planned trip. Others who have qualified have decided either to not run Boston or to wait until next year since runners have a two-year window of opportunity from the year they qualify.


The usual goodies, like post-race pizza and massages, will again be available to competitors in the Y-Bi Classic Duathlon that is set for April 13 in Pueblo West. The switch to a run-bike-run format (2.5M, 11.2M and 3M) that proved popular with racers last year has been retained.

Entries are already being received for the Ordinary Mortals Triathlon that is scheduled for May 17-18 in Pueblo West. The two-day format (the first day for females and the second for males) filled up last year and, given the sport’s tremendous popularity in Colorado, is expected to again.

Online registration is available for both the Y-Bi and the Ordinary Mortals, and entry forms also are at the Pueblo YMCA and the Gold Dust Saloon.

Runners clinic

The public is invited to a free runners clinic that the Southern Colorado Runners will be sponsoring from 7 to 9 p.m. April 9 in the Pueblo Community College cafeteria, located in the College Center. The clinic will be conducted by Joe Alvarez, a certified personal trainer, and Chad Clark, a physical therapist. The focus will be on running performance enhancement through injury prevention, nutrition, flexibility, etc., and structural analyses of a limited number of volunteers will be offered. For information, call Chad at 545-8561.

Survivor’s Run

The Rape Crisis Center is launching a new race to Pueblo — the Survivor’s Run 5K run and walk on April 19. Some entry forms left off the 8 a.m. starting time. The event marks a return to having an event at Mineral Palace Park, site of several races years ago. Officials have been lined up to produce a high-quality race, and there will be awards in both the running and walking divisions.

Run for Rose Cinco

Sponsorship has enabled organizers of the Run for the Rose Cinco de Mayo 10K run and 2K walk to provide hefty cash prize awards and drawings for the race that is scheduled for Sunday, May 4. The run will give $250 for first place, $200 for second place and $100 for third in both male and female divisions. Also, the first-place male and female walkers will pocket $100 each. In addition, there will be random drawings for eight $25 cash prizes. Because of the cash awards to walkers, the “no-running” restriction in that category will be strictly enforced. For the 10th consecutive year, runners from Chihuahua, Mexico, will be visiting Pueblo to compete in the race.

Triple Crown

Both waves of the Pikes Peak Ascent are now full and closed, and the PP Marathon is approximately 66 percent full. The PP Ascent and the ascent portion of the PP Marathon are the third leg of the Triple Crown of Running. Marathon registration is available online.

Upcoming Area Races

  • Saturday – Ramsgate 8 (Prediction Series race), 8K, 8 a.m., 8 Ramsgate (544-9633).
  • April 13 – Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, 2.5M run, 11.2M bike, 3M run, 9 a.m., Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • April 19 – Survivor’s Run, 5K, 8 a.m., Mineral Palace Park (584-4917).
  • April 19 – USC X Challenge, adventure competition, 8 a.m., USC campus (549-2085).
  • April 26 – Tarantula & Yappy Dog Run (Prediction Series race), 8.3M, South Mesa Elementary School (543-6982).
  • May 3 – Take 5, 5K/5M, 8 a.m., Garden of the Gods (719-635-8803).
  • May 4 – Run for the Rose Cinco de Mayo, 10K, 8 a.m., State Fairgrounds (584-3231).
  • May 10 – Panoramic Run, 4M, 8 a.m., Bear Creek Park, Colorado Springs (719-392-6191).
  • May 17-18 – Ordinary Mortals Triathlon (women 17th, men 18th), 525Mtr, 12M, 3M, 7 a.m., Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • May 24 – Run in the Valley, 6.25K run and 1M walk, 8:15 a.m., Westcliffe (719-783-3170).
  • May 31 – Run for Rio, 5K run/walk, 8 a.m., Rye High School (719-859-5136).

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