Posted on Dec 3
Cover Girl: Brenda Martinez on What it Means to Be Famous in Running
@NBRunning: You're on the cover of Running Times magazine with seven pages inside! Does it feel pretty cool?
@bmartrun: Yes, its amazing! I thought the overall piece was beautifully written and the way in which Erin [Strout] put it all together was great. [Erin] really went deep by following along in my daily grind and getting to know my full story.
@NBRunning: You're wearing the 1600 on your feet in the cover photo. Do you train in that shoe often?
@bmartrun: All the time. I use them for lots of road workouts and my long runs too. With the 1600 I get such a good response and they are really light. They feel like a glove on my foot. I also have to admit that I love the vibrant color options.
@NBRunning: Is this the first time you've landed on the cover of a magazine? Also, have you seen it around? What's that like?
@bmartrun: This is the first time I've ever been on the cover of anything and I've definitely seen it around... I've found it at bookstores near my house and its very cool.
@NBRunning: Do you feel famous?
@bmartrun: (laughing) I'd like to think that I'm really big but, in the end, running is not really that popular. I mean, track and field is a pretty small world compared to some of the other sports out there. I do know that a lot of people are seeing me on [Running Times]. Its a funny balance, inside the sport this kind of exposure is huge, but its also not that big of a sport for fame. People don't run to try and become famous.
@NBRunning: Can you tell us your biggest moments in the sport, when the fans or the crowd really made you feel like you were a giant name in the sport?
@bmartrun: Here in the United States, professional runners aren't too big of a deal. Now, when you head over to Europe its a completely different world. A the Diamond League races I'll have fans of mine and fans of the sport waiting outside the hotel. I've stepped out of the lobby a few times to go for a shake-out run and had to sign many photos that people were waiting with. The difference between here and [Europe] couldn't be more different in that regard.
@NBRunning: What is the one race that comes to mind when the hype and even the fame felt through the roof?
@bmartrun: The 800m Final in [the 2013 World Championships in] Moscow was by far the most pumped up environment I've ever witnessed and I was in that race. Russia had two women in that final so the home town pride was adding to the excitement. The energy, the fans, the sounds... I just loved it. But when the start came it was so loud that they had to call the start back and reset everyone. Inside all of the madness I stayed focused but the place was going crazy. Coming around that last turn too, I was blown away at how loud the fans were. I'll never forget that race. (Brenda took Bronze in that event making her the first American woman to medal in the 800m at a World Championship).
@NBRunning: Who are some runners in the track and field world who you look to as famous athletes and why do they have that status?
@bmartrun: Well for sure Sebastian Coe. He's won four Olympic medals for the British, including the 1500 meter gold medal in '80 and again in '84. When he retired he went into politics and was a powerhouse there too. When he raced he was fearless and people feared him. He's inspiring to me without question. And for sure Haile Gebrselassie because of what he's done with his fame (on top of two Olympic gold medals in the 10K and four world champion titles for Ethiopia, in 2008, at the age of 35, he won the Berlin Marathon with a world record time of 2:03:59, breaking his own world record by 27 seconds). He's uplifted whole communities and inspired many to be better people (his charitable work supporting the fight against HIV, AIDS, overwhelming numbers of orphaned Ethiopian children, as well as the creation of the Haile Gebrselassie Marathon, all inside his home country of Ethiopia, just to name a few). He's an amazing inspiration and he's definitely famous in my book.
@NBRunning: Thanks for your time and we look forward to seeing you race at the New Balance Grand Prix in Boston this coming February.
@bmartrun: See you in Boston!