Olympic Trials Qualifier Tormoen to Participate in Symposium, Runoff

by | Feb 1, 2003 | News Articles

February, 2003 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Olympic Trials Qualifier Tormoen to Participate in Symposium, Runoff

Pinch me because I must be dreaming.

I’m looking ahead to the last weekend of this month and I can’t believe this could be happening in Pueblo. Just check this out for yourself:

For openers, we’ve got the Southeastern Colorado Area Health Education Center’s second annual “For the Health of It” health, sports and fitness symposium Feb. 28 and March 1 at the University of Southern Colorado. It will have three tracks this year — health, fitness and performance. This virtual cornucopia of speakers, presenters and even hands-on classes has attractions for medical professionals, teachers, coaches, athletes and others simply interested in health and fitness.

Following that will be the Spring Runoff, which will be celebrating its 25th anniversary on March 2. Dutch Clark Stadium will be the venue again this year, and the format will include 5K, 10K and 10-mile runs, a two-mile walk and a one-mile fun run for kids.

Tying the entire weekend together will be appearances at both activities by an Olympic Women’s Marathon Trials qualifier. I’m referring to Maddy Tormoen, who qualified for the 2004 Trials last month by finishing the HP Houston Marathon in 2 hours, 45 minutes and 30 seconds, bettering the “B” standard time of 2:48.

Tormoen will a guest speaker on the second day of the symposium. For a complete symposium schedule and information, go to the www.secahec.org website.

The next day, she’ll be running the 10-mile race at the Runoff, which will begin at 9 a.m. Then she’ll be the celebrity runner in the one-mile kids fun run that will take place at 10:45 a.m. the same day.

Tormoen is no stranger to the Olympic Marathon Trials. She also qualified in 1996 and 1988. But this one is perhaps more significant, since Maddy is now 41 years old and running with an implanted heart defibrillator, which sends electrical impulses to her heart to control rapid heartbeat.

That was surgically implanted in the summer of 2001 after Tormoen collapsed with heart attack-like symptoms following her women’s division victory in the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run. Doctors discovered she had a condition that disrupts the electrical signals to the heart, creating rapid, uncoordinated contractions of the muscle fibers in her heart’s ventricles.

She survived that scare, but after several months she found she was having trouble training at the level she was used to and was tiring late in races. So last June she stopped taking a beta blocker medicine that she felt was slowing her down and causing some reactions.

“Since then I haven’t had any episodes and it’s helped me get in great shape,” Tormoen said. “I’m just really feeling good now.”

Her races provide proof. Maddy was the second female Masters (for those 40 and over) at the Motorola Marathon in Texas (2:55) and then the second overall woman regardless of age at a marathon in Memphis (2:49). Then came the Trials-qualifying effort in Houston.

“It felt good to have a good race with all that I’ve been through,” she pointed out.

Maddy is well known in this region because she lived in Pueblo for several years before moving to Colorado Springs recently because of a new job. A licensed professional counselor, she works as a diagnostician for the Division of Youth Corrections.

But Tormoen has gained much more notoriety overseas, and during the 1990s she was one of the top female duathletes in the world. Among her credentials:
• Selected female world duathlete of the year three times by both Triathlete and Inside Triathlon magazines.
• Zofingen Power Woman multi-sport champion in Switzerland in 1993 and ‘95.
• U.S. National Duathlon champion in 1994.
• More than 30 national and world-class career wins.
• Winner of the Triple Crown of Running in 2001.
• Winner or runnerup female in seven marathons in the U.S.
• Oh, and she’s dominated races in Pueblo and Colorado Springs for years.

The Women’s Olympic Marathon Trials will be held in St. Louis in April 2004. To prep for that, Tormoen hopes to run a marathon this year on the same course. In 1996, she was 30th at the Trials race in South Carolina.

Another Trials qualifier from this region is Peter de la Cerda of Alamosa, who ran a 2:14:41 marathon in Chicago to qualify under the men’s “A” standard of 2:20. Peter was the second overall finisher in the last Marathon Trials race although that didn’t earn him a trip to the Olympics.

HP Houston Marathon

Besides Tormoen, other area runners completing the HP Houston Marathon last month were Marv Bradley, 63, of Cañon City in 3:33; Jill Montera, 36, of Pueblo in 3:39; and Cheryl McCoy, 58, of Salida in 5:36. McCoy also finished the Honolulu Marathon in December. Bradley and Montera were both under the Boston Marathon qualifying times for their divisions. February 2 was the cutoff date for qualifying for Boston.

Triple Crown of Running

Slots are being snapped up fast for the Pikes Peak Ascent and Pikes Peak Marathon, which are held back-to-back in August as part of the Triple Crown of Running. Three weeks into registration, the marathon was already 24 percent full while the two waves of the Ascent were both approximately one-third full. To register, access the Triple Crown web site at www.pikespeakmarathon.org. The other Triple Crown legs – the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run in June and Summer Roundup Trail 12K in July – have no restrictions on numbers.

Ride the Rockies

The route for this year’s Ride the Rockies bicycle tour, a week-long legs and lungs challenger that each year traverses several mountain passes, will be revealed this month on the event’s web site at www.ridetherockies.com. Registration also is available there, with 2,000 cyclists to be selected via lottery from the 4,000-5,000 who normally register.


Eerily plagued by “challenging” weather for much of its history, the Y-Bi Classic duathlon might attempt to exorcise its demons and get a new home when it is held on April 13. Race organizers are considering moving the bike-run-bike event to the Pueblo Industrial Park from its long-time location in Pueblo West. Stay tuned.

Upcoming Area Races

• Feb. 8 – Winter Series III, 5M/10M, 10 a.m., Baptist Road Trailhead in Colorado Springs (719-598-2953).
• Feb. 9 – Valentine’s Twosome partners race, 1.6M each partner, 9 a.m., Pueblo City Park (947-3682).
• Feb. 15 – Frostbite Five, 5M, 10 a.m., Pueblo City Park (543-5151).
• Feb. 22 – Winter Series IV, 10K/20K, 10 a.m., Black Forest (719-598-2953).
• Feb. 23 – Spring Runoff Tuneup (Prediction Series race), 10K, 9 a.m., 3912 Goodnight Ave. (564-0847).
• March 2 – Spring Runoff, 9 a.m. 2M walk and 5K, 10K and 10M runs. Toddlers race at 8:45. 1M fun run at 10:45., Dutch Clark Stadium (544-3520).
• March 15 – St. Pat’s Day Run, 5K, 10 a.m., Old Colorado City (719-635-8803).
• March 23 – Ben & Matt’s Trail Mix (Prediction Series race), 10+M, 9 a.m., Nature Center (543-5151).
• April 5 – Ramsgate 8 (Prediction Series race), 8K, 8 a.m., 8 Ramsgate (544-9633.

Send comments and fitness information to Gary Franchi via e-mail at gfranchi@daeo.net.

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