Yolanda Holder

Corona housewife Yolanda Holder has broken one record and is about to break another!

By Brian W. Carter, Sentinel Staff Writer

At 52, Yolanda Holder is the average African-American housewife. The Corona resident takes care of the responsibilities around the house, her family, takes care of her health and-oh yeah-she’s broken a Guinness World Record.

Holder, originally from San Jose, is also known as the “Walking Diva.” On Dec. 5, Holder broke the Guinness World Record marathon for women. The previous record-holder was Angela (Gargano) from Italy.

Holder used to race-walk in the past and compete but an injury slowed that down. “I hurt my right hip and started power-walking,” said Holder. She found walking to be a better avenue, and it eventually led to bigger goals.

It all started 12 years ago when Holder completed her first marathon in the Revlon 5k in Los Angeles. She eventually moved up to doing 10k marathons and completed her first half marathon at the former Carlsbad Marathon, now San Diego Marathon in January of 1998.

That same year, Holder went on to do her first full marathon in Portland, Oregon. The next 10 years would be filled with many marathons, as Holder continued to “walk it out.” As a special birthday approached, she decided that she was going to make a mark.

“For my 50th birthday, I said I would do 50 marathons in 50 weeks.” Sadly, Holder didn’t accomplish that goal; she ended up doing 65 marathons, earning her the title of Marathon Maniac of the Year.

In 2009, Holder would show no signs of stopping, as the Walking Diva continued to stomp out 77 marathons. She would once again be crowned Marathon Maniac of the Year. In November of 2009, Holder decided she was going to see if she could break a big record.

She decided to break the women’s Guinness record, held by Angela (Gargano) of Italy, who walked 100 marathons in 2002. At the Rock ‘n’ Roll marathon in Las Vegas, Holder broke her record with 101 marathons this year.

As amazing as all of this is, Holder is still not done-she will break her own recent record with another marathon record breaker; 65-year-old San Antonio attorney Larry Macon, at the Savages Seven Marathon in Ocala, Fla. on Dec. 31. They will both break records with 106 marathons.

“I gave him a call; I said, ‘Hey Larry, how about you and I tie-in that record?'” said Holder. “We’re actually breaking his, and he said, ‘Yes,’ and we breaking the overall record together.”

Holder acknowledges that keeping in shape and training was essential in accomplishing her goals. Between her marathons, she keeps in shape with speed training, pilates and stretching.

Holder has some tips for anyone interested in walking in marathons compressively or personally. “Go online; there are lots people who have training programs,” said Holder. “I recommend your first marathon to be a half marathon, which is 13. 1 miles and do a six to 12 week training program.

“You’ve got to feel out your body; everybody’s body is not the same. Your training regiments are not the same. Your food intake is not the same. You’ve got to find out what makes your body move.

“Keep believing in yourself and your dreams,” is what Holder wants to share with anyone who has a dream. “Believe in yourself, totally believe.”

Holder shares this accomplishment with her family; her husband Roger Holde,r a computer engineer for EMC Corp.; her son, R.J., 27; and daughter, Tiffany, 24. She also would like to acknowledge Jean Ho of Orange County and Jennifer Dicus of Reno, NEV., fellow marathoners who have been a big support, as well as many friends and family.