Meeker’s Lisa Belmonte is truly a marathon woman

Lisa Belmonte’s idea of fun is running long distances — 26.2 miles, to be exact.
Belmonte runs marathons. She ran the Portland Marathon on Oct. 5, finishing 11th out of 639 in the women’s 35-39 age division and 44th overall out of 3,900 women. And, most importantly, her time qualified her to run in the Boston Marathon on April 20, where she will be one of 25,000 runners.
“That was my goal,” the Meeker runner said. “I’ve always thought about doing it. I wanted to do it before I turn 40.”
Belmonte will celebrate her 40th birthday in May.
To qualify for Boston in her age group, Belmonte had to run a time of 3 hours, 45 minutes. She finished in 3 hours, 19 minutes.
“So, I had time to spare, which is good,” she said.
Belmonte’s time at the Portland Marathon was her second-best ever. She ran a time of 3 hours, 15 minutes in 2002 at Grandma’s Marathon in Duluth, Minn.
The Portland Marathon was Belmonte’s eighth marathon. She ran her first one nearly 15 years ago.
“My first marathon was in maybe, like 1994,” she said. “It was tough. I didn’t even train for it. I just went and ran it. I did OK. I just wanted to run a marathon, but it was definitely hard.”
Running, though, has been a long-time passion for Belmonte.
“I’ve been pretty much running since I was, like, 15,” she said. “I run all the time.”
Belmonte run track and cross country at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, S.D.
Distance running is her forte, not short distances.
“I’m definitely a distance runner,” Belmonte said. “Anybody can beat me in the 100-meter dash.”
While Belmonte prefers longer runs, she did win the 5K Scrub Shirt Classic, sponsored by Pioneers Medical Center during the Fall Festival, the last weekend of September.
“Sometimes I think the shorter ones are harder,” Belmonte said. “It’s hard to get really going. By the time I get warmed up, the race is over.”
Belmonte also was the top women’s finisher in the Road Rash and Splash mini-triathlon, sponsored in July by the Meeker Recreation and Parks District.
Her husband, Brett Smithers, doesn’t share her passion for running.
“No, he doesn’t,” Belmonte said. “He just puts up with me running. He runs around chasing the kids, I guess.”
Belmonte and Smithers have two sons, ages 1 and 3.
While running a marathon may seem intimidating, Belmonte said anybody can run one.
“Anybody can run a marathon,” she said. “If you set your mind to it.”
Belmonte, a wildlife biologist for the BLM, will continue her regular training regime for the Boston Marathon.
“I run all the time,” she said. “I will, usually, run around 35 miles a week, depending on the length of my runs. It could get up to maybe 55.
“I think I will try to just keep doing that,” Belmonte said. “I want to keep up with my mileage. That will at least keep me in shape. I may even run another marathon in January, just for training, not for racing.
“Just for fun,” she said.