Pueblo on the Move Puts People on Their Feet

by | Sep 1, 2003 | News Articles

September, 2003 Fit to be Tied Column

From the Pueblo Chieftain
by Gary Franchi


Pueblo on the Move Puts People on Their Feet

When the Pueblo YMCA added the Health Challenge last year as one of the events in its annual Corporate Cup, it had no idea what it had created. One year later, it realizes it has stumbled upon a blockbuster.

The Health Challenge, in a nutshell, is a 12-week walking program that gets under way 13 weeks before the main Corporate Cup activities start during the third weekend in September. Participants also receive health-enhancing tips, learn health behavior modification tips and receive motivation while participating in Pueblo on the Move, an offshoot of the state’s Colorado on the Move walking program.

That program, in turn, is an extension of the national America on the Move program, which was started as a simple way to attack the overweight problem that is prevalent in our society. From the start, its goal has been to get people to eat smarter and to take 2,000 extra steps per day, increasing that gradually until they have worked up to 10,000 steps daily.

“Taking 2,000 extra steps a day, which is about the equivalent of one mile, is considered what people need to do to stop weight gain,” said Nicole Means, the Health and Fitness Director at the YMCA and Coordinator of the Pueblo on the Move program.

The 10,000-step figure is seen as the amount necessary for reaching and maintaining one’s optimum weight level.

The Corporate Cup Health Challenge is a perfect microcosm of what the YMCA represents – a vehicle for helping people to become healthier and more active, regardless of their current health status. The Challenge’s focus is to get them to get moving and to eat smarter.

Actually, Corporate Cup participation is not a requirement for joining Pueblo on the Move, and the Healthy Challenge is only one part of the program. Anyone can become part of it as an individual, and organizations can join, too. Among other groups who have participated are the YMCA Senior Walking Group, Irving Elementary School and the YMCA Daycamp Group 5, which is a group of kids who entered the fifth grade this fall.

In fact, in one year, 900 Puebloans have caught the fever and gotten involved with Pueblo on the Move, which, Means is proud to point out.

“In the first year, almost 1 percent of Pueblo’s population participated in it,” said Means, who also is the Director of the Corporate Cup.

Those who join are able to purchase a Pueblo on the Move pedometer for $16 (they are available at the YMCA). After an initial orientation that includes receiving health-enhancing tips, participants need attend no other meetings.

The company with the largest participation in Pueblo on the Move is St. Mary-Corwin Hospital with 334 participants, Means pointed out. Through the Corporate Cup’s Healthy Challenge this year, 815 are registered.

The success of Pueblo on the Move led to Pueblo being selected one of two pilot cities in the nation (Indianapolis is the other) for implementing innovative strategies for getting its population moving and walking.

For more information on Pueblo on the Move, contact Means at the YMCA (543-5151).


  • Pueblo’s Larry Volk, 39, qualified with ease for the 2004 Boston Marathon by speeding to a 3:07:28 time in the American Discovery Trial Marathon held on Labor Day along the trail in north Colorado Springs. Larry needed to get under 3:15 to qualify. He also was the sixth overall male finisher in the field.
  • In the same marathon, Brian Ropp, 40, of Pueblo West ran a 3:27; Joel Weinhold, 45, of Pueblo had a 4:40 time; and Cathy Osban, 34, of Pueblo ran a 4:28. Ex-Puebloan Maddy Tormoen, 41, was the top female finisher and ninth overall in the entire field with her time of 3:13:02, a new masters division record for that course and well under the qualifying time (3:50) she needed to qualify for Boston. However, Maddy had previously already qualified for the race in Cambridge, MA.
  • With the popularity today of 5Ks, 10Ks and marathons, there usually aren’t a whole lot of half-marathons to race. But runners have the choice of two this month with the Autumn Color Run in Buena Vista on Sept. 20 and the Grand Prix series race at Colorado College on Sept. 28. The race in Buena Vista includes a 5K, 10K and 1-mile fun run. The Grand Prix race, which also includes a 5K and 10K, originally was scheduled to be held at the Air Force Academy but was moved to CC for security reasons.
  • Puebloans Mark Koch, 44, and Jill Montera, 37, won overall age division crowns in the Triple Crown of Running series in the Colorado Springs/Manitou Springs area. In the third leg of the series – the Pikes Peak Ascent, Mark ran a 2:51 and Jill a 3:32. The Triple Crown series also included the Garden of the Gods 10-Mile Run and the Summer Roundup 12K run.
  • Meanwhile, Jessie Quintana, 59, was second in her age division after finishing the Ascent in 4:54. Noteworthy also is that Diane Lopez, Diana Reno and Louise Samora all conquered the brutal round trip – the Pikes Peak Marathon – the following day. Lopez and Reno ran and finished together in 8 hours and 31 minutes while Samora was clocked in 9:36.
  • The annual Hot to Trot 5K is again scheduled in conjunction with the Chile and Frijole Festival in the HARP/Union Avenue and will be held at 8 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 21. A new and scenic course will take runners from the Riverwalk area across the Fay’s Crossing bridge, and around Runyon Lake before returning.


  • The sixth annual Tenderfoot Triathlon & Duathlon will take place Sept. 20 at the Salida Hot Springs Aquatic Center, located in that city’s Centennial Park. The triathlon distances are a 1,000-meter swim, 40-kilometer (24.8 miles) bike and 10K (6.2 miles) run. Race organizers say the water temperature in the Aquatic Center pool will be between 80 and 83 degrees.
  • Pueblo’s Michael Orendorff, 51, captured first place in the 50-59 age division and was seventh overall in the entire race field with a time of 2:26:58 in the True Grit Triathlon, an off-road event held Sept. 7 in Ridgway. The race included a 1.5K open-water swim, a 25K mountain bike leg and an 11K trail run.
  • Two competitors from Pueblo placed in their age divisions at the Aspen High Country Duathlon held Aug. 23. Tomas Duran, 57, was second in the 50-59 age division with a time of 1:34:39, while Mike Ship, 49, was third in the 45-49 age division in 1:32:08. The duathlon included a 17-mile bike and a 4-mile run.

Upcoming Area Races

  • Sept. 21 – Hot to Trot Run, 5K, 8 a.m., HARP (947-3682).
  • Oct. 11 – Soaring Eagles Run/Walk, 5K, 8 a.m., CSU-P campus (489-2605).
  • Oct. 25 – Harvest Poker Run (Prediction Series race), 5M, 5 p.m., Lovell Park in Pueblo West (564-9303).
  • Nov. 22 – Atalanta Women’s Run, 5K run/walk, 9 a.m., City Park (549-2236).
  • Nov. 29 – Temple Canyon Run (Prediction Series race), 4M, 9 a.m., Cañon City (784-6514).
  • Dec. 7 – Rock Canyon Half-Marathon, 13.1M, 9 a.m., City Park (564-9303).

On the Net

  • America on the Move: www.americaonthemove.org/
  • Autumn Colorado Run: www.fourteenernet.com/colorrun/
  • Grand Prix Series: www.csgrandprix.com/
  • Tenderfoot Triathlon/Duathlon: www.tenderfoottriathlon.com/

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

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