TMC recruiter hits her stride at 200th Meet Me at Maynards achievement

Kim Loya reaches 200th Meet Me walkIt is often shared that a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. Kim Loya remembers those first few steps in what would become a weekly Monday tradition and help her find new goals, new friends and a new love for the city she lives in.

It was five years ago when Loya discovered Meet Me at Maynards, a free social walk and run that’s designed to build community through fitness.

“I have a vivid memory of that first experience,” recalled Loya, who is a human resources recruiter for TMC, the title sponsor of the event. “The walk took me to cute little neighborhoods around downtown that I had never seen before, and I just distinctly remember texting my friend the whole way about how much I love where I live.”

Loya will achieve her 200th milestone T-shirt the first Monday in July. She jokes that her dog, Paris, a white toy poodle, may be a bit prissy, but she’s been a faithful walking partner for almost every outing, even if she won’t have the standard-issue burgundy shirt to prove she reached the 200-walk threshhold.

Kim and Paris walk three miles each Monday.jpg“For me, it’s something I look forward to every Monday and it starts my week on a good note,” Loya said, adding that when her husband is able to join her, they turn it into a date night and sample the downtown eateries.

Like many Maynards aficionados, Loya is committed: They’re out there walking rain or shine, holidays, and even in heavy monsoon downpours, with streams of rain pouring off raincoats.

The three-mile route, combined with other weeknight walking commitments and her weekend cycling and hiking trips, helps her stay in an active space. “It really does help with my walking routine,” she said, adding she is now training for the Camino del Santiago, a 700-mile pilgrimage to northwestern Spain that is popular with hikers and cyclists. The Camino requires a walking commitment of at least 100 kilometers and she’s set her goal for fall 2019.

She’s also developed friendships as a result. One couple – rounding out on their 500-walk milestone – are now counted among her good friends and they just finished a wine-tasting trip together.

“It definitely helps build a sense of community,” she said. “It’s like a family because you see many of the same people each week and you start talking to the person next to you. And you see everything from runners to people out there with canes. It’s very family-friendly and a lot of fun.”

Tim Bentley, manager of The Core at La Encantada and who has been involved in the Maynards races on behalf of TMC, said he’s been impressed by Loya’s dedication. “She really personifies TMC’s commitment to healthy communities – and healthy in a broader sense than just physical health, but social health as well,” he said.

Loya said she’s proud of her achievement. “I’m a person who really likes to meet goals, so reaching 200 is really important to me,” she said, telling of a rain-slick bicycle race in Hawaii that she completed, despite four falls and bloody knees.

Fortunately, Maynards is not as grueling, with its 2-, 3- and 4-mile routes. To get the most out of the experience, Loya recommends:

  • Bring water
  • Go early to find parking (although the point, after all, is to walk, so….)
  • Despite the moniker, the walks typically start at The Cup Café at Hotel Congress
  • Sign up for the newsletters. You don’t want to be the one without the tutu.

For more information visit Meet Me at Maynards.

 

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