Thursday, April 8, 2010

Running Drives Parkview Nurse

By John Severance

SOCORRO – By day, Jan Tarr of Socorro works as the nurse at Parkview Elementary School.
When she is not working, chances are Tarr probably will be running and running and running.
“I like to be active and I don’t like to sit around,” Tarr said. “We don’t have a television set at our house. I love to run the trails around here. I like to run on Baldy Road and the Ditch Road and I like to run on Highway 60. I love the outdoors and take it all in.”
Tarr also has taken her love for running to an all new level.
Along with her husband Rick Aster, who works at New Mexico Tech, Tarr will be running in the Boston Marathon April 19.

Running, obviously, is not new to Tarr, but competing in marathons definitely is.
Tarr’s first experience with a marathon was one she would rather forget.
Last year, she decided to run in the Rio Grande Marathon in Albuquerque. She trained and she bought a watch so she could keep track of how fast she was going. She was all set.
“It was terrible,” Tarr said. “I got sick and I had to walk a large portion of the race.”
Tarr learned from that ordeal and she was not about to be deterred.
She and her husband went to Tucson a couple of months later for a marathon.
Tarr unveiled a new strategy. She threw away her watch.
“It was just making me nervous,” said Tarr, who has lived in Socorro since 1991 with her husband and two children. “I was spending more time figuring out how fast I was going and not spending enough time taking in all the sights and taking it all in.”
With no more watch, Tarr finished the Tucson race in four hours and five minutes.
What’s even more amazing is that her time of 4:05 also qualified her for the Boston Marathon.
And what was the qualifying time for Boston?
“4:05,” she laughed.
Tarr also ran marathons in Big Sur, Logan, Utah, Richmond, Va., and the Lost Dutchman in Apache Junction, Ariz.
In addition, Tarr has run in two races over the marathon distance. She competed in the 38.5-mile Hillsboro Race and the 50-kilometer Jemez Trail Run.
Tarr also has an advantage in training in Socorro which will suit her well in Boston.
The Boston Marathon is known for Heartbreak Hill, which rises 120 feet in elevation near the end of the race.
“That’s pretty funny,” Tarr said. “I run the Quebradas and I run at elevation of at least 5,000 feet.”
Tarr also has improved her speed, running the Lost Dutchman race in 3:46.
And what does she expect in Boston?
“I’ve looked at the route and I am excited to take in all the scenery and the crowds,” Tarr said. “I’m really looking forward to the experience.”
With her fast times, Tarr already has qualified for next year’s Boston Marathon as well.
And there is no doubt she will be leaving her watch behind.

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