BOULDER, Colo. – For Paul Squillace, running is a change of pace from the rest of life.
“It clears my mind when I get out running and looking at the mountains and all the countryside (and) everything here,” he said during a recent training run with other Boulder Valley School District employees.
Paul says before he started the district-sponsored training program, he couldn’t walk across the street without running out of breath. Now, he’s helping inspire others to improve their health.
“I’m helping people discover the strength they have inside them to complete their goal to run or walk or walk run the BolderBOULDER,” he said.
There are 110 BVSD employees taking part in the program this year. While many have run the race before, some like elementary school teacher Pepa Rascon, are running the race for the first time.
Pepa ran a half marathon a decade ago, but before she could run the BolderBOULDER, her life changed.
“Then I was diagnosed with breast cancer,” she said.
She beat the cancer and gave birth to two kids. She was training for last year’s BolderBOULDER when the cancer came back. So now she’s training again for her first BolderBOULDER.
“It definitely changes not just my physical being but my emotional,” she said. “I'm doing it for me. I'm doing it for my daughters.”
Pepa says unlike most other runners, she won’t be waiting until she crosses the finish line to celebrate on Memorial day.
“I will be running to celebrate my cancer free status,” she said with a smile.