âBKTC Member Marta Fenollosa:
Marta is an architect originally from Barcelona, who now now lives in Washington DC.
Why did you start running?
Iâve always been very active and into sports. I am a happier person when I exercise. But when I moved to New York, it was impossible to meet up with people to play basketball or tennis, sports that I practiced a lot back at home. I started running around Prospect Park as a way to stay fit (and channel all the craziness of NYC) and soon got addicted.
What music do you listen to while running? Why?
I donât usually listen to music when I run. Occasionally I might take off the dust of my headphones in a long run if I am running alone. But even if I do, music has been substituted by podcasts. They trick my brain more effectively, because you know a song is 3, or 4 minutes long, while a podcast can go on for hours! It helps losing sense of time, something very useful on a 2+ hour run.
What do you think about on the run if you donât run with music?
Running has become sort of my meditation time. Some days I reflect on how the day went; others I create mental âto doâ lists for the next day. Most of the time I just look at my surroundings and think of very banal things.
Most memorable race? Why?
Running the Boston Monsoon in 2018. I am extremely proud of finishing that race. One of the hardest things I have ever done, both physically and mentally. It took me a long time to be able to run on the rain again!!
What's your least memorable race?
My second NYC marathon. I thought I knew what I was doing because I had run it the year before and I didnât train as much as I should have. The last 10 miles were the worst. I stopped more times that I can count, and I barely made it to the finish line. It was one of most humbling races that make you respect the distance again.
What advice would you give to new runners?
ENJOY IT!! Running should be all pleasure. Some friendly competition here and there is always good, but donÂ´t let it get into your head. Every step, every mile, every race is for you, no one else.
Who would you like to go on a run with? Why?
My great grandfather Wilfredo Ricart. He was a very well-known engineer, famous for his car designs. A lot of people consider him a genius and it would have been super interesting to hear his view of the world. Sharing a run with him would have been awesome!
Who are your favorite athletes?
Rafa Nadal, who just won his 23rd grand slam title!! Insane! He is an amazing athlete; he has achieved absolutely everything but, at the same time, he has never lost the right perspective on the important values of life.
Whatâs your favorite movie?
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, even though I havenât seen it in ages! Maybe it is not as good as I remember...
Whatâs your favorite running route?
A 10 mile run in Menorca, an island in Spain where Iâve spent most of my summers. ItÂ´s the right combo of trails and road, and it finishes in a tiny beach where you can just dip into the water and let your muscles relax. Itâs heaven.
Share an embarrassing running story:
I got lost on my first leg of Speed Project. I had my route memorized and it was a super simple leg, but somehow the nerves played me. It was 5 am in the middle of LA and I had missed a turn. When I finally found someone and asked if I could use her phone, she started running in the opposite direction! Luckily my instincts kicked in and I remembered the area was a gridâ¦ and I eventually found the van. It wouldnât have been a good start for our team!!! Luckily, it ended up being just a minor hick up (in case you did not follow the race, we broke the female record by 5h!!)
What is the last book that you read?
The city and the house, by Natalia Ginzburg. Beautiful book about the acceptance of life, with whatever it comes, its joys and sorrows.
What are you pre-race rituals?
Pasta the night before, good breakfast that morning and getting to the race extra early. The nerves of being late are terrible!
How has running changed you?
Running has evolved with me. It started as a way to get fit again, but quickly found the competitive vein in my body and I started signing up for races to prove to myself I was able to finish them. It was extremely individual. But then I was lucky to live the Nike Running Club era, from which BKTC and other running crews evolved, because it changed my perspective on running. Yes, it still was personal, yes, it was about reaching my goals, but it added a sense of community I had never experienced before. Running took then a more social turn, and I loved it.
What sneakers do you run with? Currently doing most of my runs on Nike Zoom Fly SP. But I am easily pleased with Nike shoesâ¦
What is the last movie that you saw?
My partner and I just had a kid, so there has been zero time to watch a full movie, we can barely make it through a 45 min episode of something without falling asleep!
What race are you looking forward to?
I am very excited about breaking 3 in the marathon. Hopefully it will happen this fall at the Toronto Marathon.
Guilty pleasure on cheat day?
No guilt. ALWAYS do whatever makes you happy!
What was your first race? The Brooklyn Half in 2015. All I remember was that I was obsessed about breaking 2. A friend ran with me and I kept asking him to do the math on our finish time every single mile marker. Totally nuts. I am surprised he didnât dump me halfway through the courseâ¦I ran a 1:48:27.
Favorite race: mile, 5k, 10k, marathon, ultra marathon? Why?
Marathons for now. I am not fast at all, so shorter races are a struggle, but I am able to hold the uncomfortable pace long enough to enjoy a marathon. Maybe one day Iâll try an ultraâ¦ or not.
Finish these sentences:
If a runner wants to break the ice with me they should ask aboutâ¦ architecture, traveling, kids, a raceâ¦ anything!
Running hasâ¦ allowed me to meet people I probably wouldnât have, and I will always be grateful. It has given me the opportunity to be part of something bigger, something that unites all types of people, and I absolutely love it!
My crazy dream is toâ¦ be the first Spaniard female at the Barcelona Marathon, which is where I am from. And fun fact, I have never raced there!