She recently celebrated her 25th wedding anniversary, and it is one-half her age – and her husband’s. And her daughter will turn 25 this year.
It’s also the number of half-marathons the Clayton woman plans to complete in just one year.
Cutter is well on her way to her goal, the finish line being the Pomona Half Marathon on Dec. 15 – the event she kicked off her personal journey with last Dec. 9. And she’s doing all to bring awareness and support for her pet causes, the American Stroke Association and American Heart Association.
“I just want to give back,” Cutter says.
She is no stranger to elite running, having trained for and ran her first half-marathon back in 2008 – just after her father died after a heart attack. She is currently a coach for the Start! program for the AHA, a charity-based race training plan whose motto is “We get you from the couch to the finish line.”
Heart disease and strokes are prevalent in Cutter’s family, she says. She saw her father experience two heart attacks and her mother and grandparents suffer strokes. A neighbor’s stroke at age 46 woke her up to her own threat, so she took matters into her own hands – or more appropriately, legs.
“I want to bring awareness to the fact that women suffer strokes as often or more often than men, and even at younger ages,” she says. “We believe it’s because many of us shrug off the symptoms, and are especially vulnerable to stress,” she says.
In just five short years she has completed 50 half-marathons, and has 15 more to go this year to reach her goal.
As a freelance bookkeeper, Cutter didn’t have much time to run races in the early part of 2013, during the busy tax season. But from the first week in May she has upped her pace, and has run six 13-milers in the past seven weeks.
Although most of the races are held in northern California, Cutter says she is using her mission to do a little traveling. Besides several races in southern California, she will travel to Chicago and Idaho for events there, and will compete in three consecutive half-marathons in three days around Lake Tahoe in September, as part of the Lake Tahoe Marathon.
“The main thing we want to stress is that it doesn’t matter how fast you go,” she says, “but just that you get up and go. We are not concerned about times as much as just finishing the race.”
She herself says that she will often stop to help other runners during races who may be having difficulties, mainly because she remembers how hard it was when she was starting out.
“I love the community of the races, especially when we’re all working for a cause,” Cutter says. “That’s the part of racing that I’m addicted to.”
While she says she is “not a Facebook person,” Cutter has set up a Facebook page for friends and family to follow her journey. It can be found at http://www.facebook.com/pages/START-Training-American-Heart-Association-Donation-Page-for-Robin-Cutter.