Cinda Olvera nearing the finish line at the New York Marathon, 2013.
Record Staff Writer
Race for life is a term that might define Cinda Olvera, although the only person she is competing against is herself. Olvera is a runner. She has been running for the last seven years and has run in the Diva Half Marathon in Vale, Colo., the half-marathon in Sedona Ariz., and the New York Marathon.
She proudly displays the medallions she received for participating in each.
“I love running. I could talk about it for hours. … When I got back from New York my daughter told me that I could only talk about it for a week,” she said.
Olvera did not start out running 13 to 26 miles. She started slow, very slow, by walking. “Then I’d jog a few steps and then run a few steps.”
Eventually, she built up distance, time and speed, although she said that she is not a fast runner. Instead she feels it is a measure of her endurance. “I don’t run fast. I run because I love it.”
She runs three miles five to six days a week. She is methodical and keeps a daily log. “I clocked 1293.5 miles in 2013.” It was, she said, a slow year because she injured herself in Hobbs, during the New Mexico-Texas Challenge.
Olvera admits to be a bit of an addict and does not see the treadmill as a viable alternative to running. “I’m like the mailman. I run in the rain, heat and snow. I need the sun, I need the fresh air. I need the sky over my head.”
Olvera acknowledged that most people run marathons for the time. For her, though, it’s the endurance. When she runs a marathon she wears a bracelet that says “I believe.”
She referred to the New York Marathon as the experience of a lifetime. “There were 50,700 runners; 50,300 finished. Millions of people are just standing there watching.”
The route crosses five bridges where observers are prohibited and she was struck by the silence when all she heard was the sound of the other runners.
As Olvera neared the end of the route people cheered her on, screaming: “You’re almost there; you almost made it.” She did not agree. “There is no almost. You either make it or you don’t.”
Yet she felt exhilaration as she crossed the finish line to be greeted by her family. “I thought to myself: I did it. I finished. No one can take that away from me.”
Sedona, the half-marathon, was the hardest, with a path that goes all uphill and down. “I’ve only hit the wall once, at Sedona. This run brought tears to my eyes,” Olvera said.
She also admits to being a running-shoes junkie. She owns 25 pairs of running shoes, and one pair of a limited edition Brooks shoes she calls her “Sunday shoes,” worn only on special occasions.
A Roswell native, mother of three and a grandmother, Olvera went to Edgewood Elementary, Mesa Middle School and Goddard High. She studied accountancy at New Mexico State University where she met her husband of 20 years, Francisco. He is a CPA and a fellow runner.
She rebelled when she first returned to Roswell, but now she is glad. “Roswell is a great place to raise kids.”
Olvera said her entire family is active and athletic. Her eldest, 26-year-old Christopher, went to New Mexico Military Institute and now serves as an Army ranger.
He has been invited to try out for the Special Forces. Middle child Hannah is a cheerleader at Goddard and involved in ballet. Her youngest, Mary Kathryn, is 8 years old. Olvera does a lot of volunteer work with the PTA at Berrendo Elementary, where she spends most of her days.
“I’m the (PTA) secretary. I organize fundraisers and leadership luncheons.”
Other hobbies tend to be quite physical. She likes to swim and she encourages others to become more active. “It does bother me that so many people are overweight, especially the very young, when there is an alternative. … I lost 25 pounds when I started running and never felt healthier in my life.”