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Training for Monument Avenue 10K helps woman stay in shape

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – A New Kent County is now training to run in her second Ukrop’s Monument Avenue 10K.

When you look into the crowds tackling the 10K, the person with the biggest smile on her face just might be Jan Haviland.

“I can’t say enough good things about it,” said Jan.

When it comes to running you might consider Jan a late bloomer.

“It’s never too late to start. I proved that at age 58,” she said.

Jan laced them up for the first time last year and she hasn’t looked back.

“I did it because it was a stretch goal. I never realized it was going to be something I loved,” she said.

By her mid-50’s Jan biked her way to fitness and lost  55 pounds.

She never thought she’d run a 10K.

“One mile was like.. ‘No Way’! I wasn’t in the best of shape,” she said.

Jan decided to join the New Kent 10K training team to help climb her physical and mental hurdles.

“I am a firm believer with the right training anyone can run any distance they want to run,” Jan said.

Coach Judy Cogburn helped Jan reach her goals.

“Oh there are so many benefits to being healthy. It’s just fabulous,” Coach Cogburn said. “They’ll be pumping their fist saying ‘We did it. We did it.’ They really start believing they’re not going to be able to do it. But we keep saying you will. You will. Keep it going. Keep it going.”

“I said I don’t know if I could do it,” recalled Jan. “She [Coach Cogburn] said I think you can. And I did! I can’t describe how much I enjoy it,” she said.

With a little coaching and running with a buddy, Jan and Judy say you too can reach the finish line.

“You just have to give it a try. If it doesn’t work we’ll fine tune it and find another way. You have to at least get off the couch and come give it a try,” Cogburn said.

Following her first 10K last year – the coaches encouraged Jan Haviland to run the half marathon. She signed up and trained. In November she crossed the finish line.

The YMCA 10K training teams begin Saturday January 21st.

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