Our 2022 February Runner Spotlight is on Lidia Baca.  Lidia started running in 1997 on a whim when she joined her brother in a 5-mile race.  She remembers “it was a stifling hot day in August, and I had no idea of the difficulty awaiting me. I found a shortcut back to the finish and took a DNF. I felt I had unfinished business with that race, so I began training and ran the 5 miler the following year. I quickly got hooked on running ALL the local 5Ks. One of those early years, I got the “most improved runner” award.”  Now, she runs a race every Saturday and Sunday.  With all of those races, she was once assigned bib #1… but finished dead last.  The number were assigned alphabetically, and she found it amusing in the irony.

One of her favorite accomplishments has been finishing an indoor marathon. It took her three separate attempts. There wasn’t an option for a shorter distance. It was either 26.2 miles (211 laps on a 200m indoor track) or a DNF. Finally, on a rainy December day in 2019, she spent over 5 hours running in circles to earn the belt buckle!

One thing you should know about her is that she met David Pinnick in 2008 and ran their first event together on New Year’s Day 2009. They’ve since crossed finish lines in all 50 states and a few countries. Vacations almost always include a race… or two.

If there’s any race that Lidia could run, it would be a race in Peru, because she’s Peruvian. Although, she may not want to attempt the Inca Trail Marathon though as it’s a very tough course.

She enjoys our events because of the quirky BOTP category that is fun to compete in.  Thanks to the vineyard venues, she no longer dreads difficult trail races.  She appreciates that the events benefit local charities as her first ever marathon was in 1999 through the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. The fund-raising component was every bit as demanding as the training miles. 

Lidia remembers a time when she and David were planning to run a half marathon in West Virginia.  “Traffic was heavy, and it was clear we would miss the registration cutoff time. We reached out to a fellow runner on FB (essentially a complete stranger). He got our info over the phone (“L-I-D-I-A”  and so on, he was so patient!). He paid cash and barely got us in before they closed! I continue running to stay in the game with such amazing people.”

Join Lidia at one of our upcoming events!