Felicia Minson has known Brian “Boomer” Cover for much of her life. Brian’s father had been a popular dentist in their community of Pueblo, CO, and Felicia’s family and the Cover family had known each other for years. Felicia even went to high school with Brian’s younger brother. They had been friends for a long time, but it was just over a year ago that they two became a couple. In 2007, Brian lost his father to Pancreatic Cancer. In the past few years, Brian has become a very active member of the Project Purple family. Felicia has also become an important part of Project Purple. Whereas she used to play more of a supporting role, now she is moving to the center stage. Felicia will be officially running her first marathon as part of the Project Purple Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll team.
After Felicia graduated from college, she ended up moving to Las Vegas with a friend. Both young women needed a change of scenery, as they each had just experienced a painful and traumatic loss. They had been working in the service industry, so they decided that Vegas would provide the adventurous change of scenery that they desperately needed. For the duration of the two years that Felicia lived in Vegas, she made visiting the California coastline a priority. She estimates that she drove out to visit twice each month. She enjoyed being near the water and felt that it had a rejuvenating effect on her. While she was gone, Brian occasionally reminded her that he was patiently waiting for her to return. He would send flowers with a card that read “Colorado misses you”.
Eventually, Felicia decided to return to Colorado. She missed her family and she wondered whether she and Brian might have a future together. As hard as it was for her to return to the city where she had last experienced a tragic death, she knew that she needed to come back. She took a leap of faith and returned to her home state. She was elated to be near her parents, her brother and two sisters. Her return marked the official beginning of her relationship with Brian.
Though she had known that Brian’s father had passed away while she was still in high school, it was not until their relationship blossomed that she really understood how devastating that loss had been for him. He was a young adult when his father passed away, and Brian has committed himself to making sure that other families do not experience what his went through.
Brian has become an important member of the Project Purple family. He has run several marathons for the charity. He also directs the “Doc Cover Golf Classic” tournament in his father’s honor, with proceeds from that tournament benefitting Project Purple programs. Felicia understands how important fighting Pancreatic Cancer is to Brian. Felicia has become actively involved in helping Brian with his golf tournament and is his biggest supporter in his racing endeavors. Felicia explains, “Part of the reason why I moved to Pueblo is because Brian wants to continue his dad’s legacy. He is so passionate about that. He wants to build up his golf tournament. I want to help and be supportive.”
Felicia has enjoyed watching Brian compete in marathons and triathlons. She has traveled all over to support Brian’s racing. Most recently the couple traveled to Idaho so that Brian could compete in his first Ironman triathlon. She has had so much fun at the big city races that she thought it would be fun to experience a race as a competitor instead of as a spectator. Felicia has officially signed up to complete the full Denver Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon. She says, “I want to see if I am a marathon runner or not.”
When she was in high school, Felicia was a sprinter. She never competed in an event farther than 400 meters. When she was in college, she started running distances of up to 3 miles. The distance felt like it was long to her because she was not used to running that far. However, she felt that it was therapeutic. Felicia explains, “Running was my only time to be alone and figure stuff out. I had never run more than 5 miles until I started dating Brian.” In fact, it was one of their five-mile runs a few months ago that Brian broached the subject of them running for Project Purple together.
In October, Brian is running two marathons for Project Purple. First, he is running the Chicago Marathon. Chicago will be a special race for Brian because his mom grew up there and his parents lived there while his dad attended dental school. Much of his extended family still lives in Chicago, so having them out on the race course will give the experience more meaning.
The following weekend, Brian and Felicia will both run Denver. The couple does a lot of their training together, so having similar goal races will make the training process more fun. Felicia has now increased her longest run to 13 miles. Though long runs still seem a bit daunting for her, she is learning to embrace the experience. “Running was what helped save me when I was in a dark place. Running has helped me figure things out in my life. You go through a lot of emotions and allow yourself to be vulnerable in the moment on long runs. Your focus isn’t on protecting yourself,” she explains.
Felicia is a busy graduate student. She is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Counseling. Fitting running into her busy schedule is not always easy, but she makes it a priority. As for why this former sprinter wants to run the full marathon, she says, “I am doing this race to accomplish something that has always been so foreign. It is taking me so far outside of my comfort zone. I also want to honor something that is so important to Brian and his family. When you love someone so much and they are so passionate about something, It affects you and makes you want to be a part of it.”
Please donate to Felicia’s fundraiser here: