Cadet: Pam Page
Age: 47 | City: Overland Park, Kan.
Pam Page was trying to make a positive change in her life in 2010 when she took up running. She’d gone through a divorce and thought it could help. It worked. “My entire circle of running friends are an inspiration to me,” she says.
Her goal this year is to finish her first race in under six hours. She considers runners “the most amazing people I have ever met,” she says. “Such generous, kind, empathetic, encouraging people that will cheer you on no matter what your pace or what your goal. No one ever makes you feel bad about your run or race. I’ve never been in a sport where there is such true camaraderie.”
Vet: Cynthia Stapp
Age: 54 | City: Shawnee, Kan.
Cynthia started “running” in 2003 when a friend of hers wanted to do the Lake Tahoe Marathon for Team in Training. The two of them did their run/walk training together and finished in 7.5 hours. “I was bitten by the bug,” she says. She’s now run 28 full marathons, 20 half marathons, two 44-mile trail runs and various other ultras.
Cynthia also paces her group’s weekly runs and full and half marathons in Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. “My reward is being able to help people achieve a goal they never thought possible: to complete a half or full marathon,” she says. “The expression on someone’s face when you tell that person ‘you have just run one step farther than you’ve ever run before, and you are going one more’ is hard to describe. As is the joy and amazement a first-time runner experiences upon crossing a finish line!”