Jessie Quintana Does Distance Running Her Way

by | Mar 1, 2005 | News Articles

March, 2005 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Jessie Quintana Does Distance Running Her Way

There are no Jeff Galloway training schedules in Jessie Quintana’s marathon preparations. There are no weekly distance buildups. Her routine contains no mega-mileage.

Actually, you could say Quintana adheres to the “less is more” philosophy. Her normal weekly running log includes a long run of 10 miles and a total of about 30 miles.

“I don’t put in a lot of miles but I do some weightlifting for the upper body every other day,” said the semi-retired nurse of her unorthodox regimen.

While that’s certainly not the modus operandi for most marathoners, it sure works for the 61-year-old Puebloan. She’s finished more marathons than she’s kept track of, including the old Pueblo River Trail Marathon three times, Las Vegas four times, the Pikes Peak round trip three times and the St. George (Utah) 26.2-miler once.

Her St. George effort – 4:22:24 – last fall is perhaps the most significant since it bettered the 4:30 qualifying standard that Jessie needed to gain entry into the Boston Marathon that will be held on April 18. It’s the first time she has qualified for Boston in her 26 years of running.

Quintana is a fixture at local and nearby races. Last year, for instance, she ran the Frostbite 5, Spring Runoff (10-miler), Cinco de Mayo 10K, Custer 2020 (6.25K), Women’s Distance Festival, Atalanta 5K, Rock Canyon Half-Marathon and two Prediction Series races conducted by the Southern Colorado Runners.

Jessie’s trademark is the big smile she always flashes when crossing finish lines, and it’s obvious that she thoroughly loves running.

No race does she enjoy more than the Pikes Peak Ascent and Marathon because of their beautiful scenery. She’s done the round trip three times, including an 8:19 effort last year. The Ascent? She figures she’s run it as many as 15 times, most recently a 4:54 clocking in 2003.

Unfortunately, Jessie didn’t get her entry in early enough for either race when registration opened on March 1, and both waves of the Ascent filled in three days and the Marathon in four. So she’s petitioning race officials because of her 2004 track record that saw her take third in her age division of the round trip and second in the Triple Crown of Running, which includes the Garden of the Gods 10-Miler and Summer Roundup 12K in addition to either the Ascent or the first half of the round-trip.

Quintana also must like the Spring Runoff since she’s run it 26 consecutive years. Her time in the 10-mile race this year was 1:36:24, which placed her first in the 60-64 age division.

Other area runners entered in the Boston Marathon so far are three from Canon City – Julie and Warren Marshall and Dean Sandoval.

Rome Marathon

Dave and Stacey Diaz’s recent vacation to Spain and Italy included running in the Rome Marathon, whose course took the 10,000-plus runners to the Coliseum, St. Peters Square, Olympic Stadium and some runner-unfriendly cobblestone sufaces. Dave ran at Stacey’s pace during the first half, when she dropped out as planned. Dave continued on and finished in 4 hours and change. Talented local runners and cyclists for years, Dave and Stacey are now avid swimmers as well and will do several triathlons this summer. Dave also is registered to run both the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon on consecutive days in August (20th and 21st).

Triple Crown of Running

Close to two dozen runners from Pueblo or Pueblo West are entered in the Ascent and five in the round-trip Marathon. Besides Dave Diaz, Brian Ropp of Pueblo West also has registered for the “double,” which he accomplished last year. However, Ropp has been battling a lower-back condition and is unsure of his health status for those races.

Racing highlights

Area runners have found the Colorado Springs area to be a mecca for superb performances, first in the four-race Winter Series held over the past two months and then in the St. Patrick’s Day 5K held earlier this month in Old Colorado City.

Placing in their age division of the Winter Series short division were Rich Hadley (first), Ashlee Withrow of Wetmore, and Puebloans Rebecca Medina and Diana Reno. Placing first in their age bracket of the long-course division were Sam McClure of Canon City, Lacey LeDoux of Pueblo and Jane Chess of Florence.

In the St. Patrick’s race, which was the start of the Grand Prix of Running, Hadley and Connilee Walter of Pueblo won their age divisions. Also placing were Jim Kerr of Canon City and Pueblaons Diane Lopez and Marijane Martinez. The next race in the series will be the Take 5 in the Garden 5K/5M race on May 7.

Meanwhile, ex-Puebloan Steve Cathcart finished seventh in the National Masters 8K cross country meet held last month in Vancouver, Wash., with a time of 27:46. Now living in Fort Collins, Cathcart, 40, won the Spring Runoff 10K race earlier this month.

Training Camp

Workouts, educational seminars and relaxing activities will be on tap at the YMCA of Pueblo’s Altitude Training Camp to be held May 20-22 at Camp Jackson in Rye. Trail running, cycling, hiking, canoeing, horseback riding and high ropes courses are available, all at the challenging 8,200-foot elevation.

Guest speakers and their main topics will be multi-sport training guru George Dallam, goal setting and the advantages of high-altitude training; Dr. Rocky Khosla, injuries common to runners and cyclists and how to treat them, plus the benefits and dangers of high-altitude training; and physical therapist Chad Clark, sports performance enhancement and how to prevent injuries in any activity.

The registration deadline is May 13, and information is available by calling the YMCA at 543-5151.

Ride the Rockies

The 2,000 riders who are selected by lottery for this year’s Ride the Rockies should be notified soon. The tour will go from Grand Junction to Breckenridge, covering 405 miles from June 19-25. It will go through Delta, Montrose, Gunnison, Salida, Buena Vista and Leadville. Three formidable climbs include 10,839-foot Grand Mesa, 11,312-foot Monarch Pass and 11,318-foot Fremont Pass.

Upcoming Area Races

  • April 2 – YMCA Healthy Kids Day, 5K walk/run, 8:30 a.m., 7th St. and Albany Ave. (543-5151).
  • April 9 – Ramsgate 8, 8K, 8 a.m., 8 Ramsgate (544-9633).
  • April 10 – Y-Bi Classic Duathlon, 5K run/13.6M bike/5K run, 9 a.m., Pueblo West High School (543-5151).
  • April 17 – Rape Crisis Survival Run, 5K run/walk, 9 a.m., Mineral Palace Park (583-4420).
  • April 24 – Yappy Dog (Prediction Series race), 8.6M, 8:30 a.m., South Mesa Elementary School (543-6982).
  • May 1 – Cinco de Mayo, 10K run and 2K walk, 7:30 a.m., Colorado State Fairgrounds (564-7685).
  • May 14 – Ordinary Mortals Women’s Triathlon, 525mtr swim, 12M bike, 3M run, 6:45 a.m., Pueblo Regional Center in Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • May 15 – Ordinary Mortals Men’s Triathlon, 525mtr swim, 12M bike, 3M run, 7 a.m., Pueblo Regional Center in Pueblo West (543-5151).
  • May 28 – Custer 2020 Run in the Valley, 5K and 1M, 8 a.m., Westcliffe (877-783-9163).
  • June 4 – Run for Rio, 5K, 8 a.m., Rye High School (859-5136).

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