This week’s Favorite Race Friday features local Rhode Island runner, Chelley Martinka!
1) What is your favorite race?
Girls on the Run races are my favorite. This year was amazing because my daughter, Adelaide, crossed the finish line with me. If you’re unfamiliar with the program, definitely look them up! Watching the girls run with their parents and sponsors is just as amazing as finishing the race yourself.
These races mean the world to me because they are what I preach everyday: exercise doesn’t have to be punishment. Running with friends can be just as rewarding as eating cake with those same people. YOU make the experience what you want- and I’ve never seen a sour face cross the finish line. That is an accomplishment worth sweating for!
2) Where was the race located, distance, and any other details you want to share.
This year I did the 10k- there is also a 5k option.
The races have been at Roger Williams Park in Providence. It’s a park full of rolling hills and lots of green, but the paved road is really nice and open- lending itself to passing or slowing as needed. In general, there is A LOT of support, water and signage along the route, and the race is always well done, by TriMom Productions.
I volunteered the first and second seasons of GOTRRI, when the program was new to Rhode Island. It was amazing. The people behind the race LOVE running and empowering young women and the state, itself.
It was a wonderful experience for me to be a part of and to see how much work goes into non-profits and road races… when they’re together? It takes an army of volunteers and lots of hugs to make it all work.
For this race, it works! The people behind the scenes are dedicated to making the whole season culminate with smiles, and the rewarding feeling you can only achieve when you truly learn to love running!
4) Best piece of running advice you can share with other mother runners.
Keep going. I was told “no running” when I was pregnant due to multiple surgeries I’d had in my twenties and I was distraught. I wanted to be the mom with an 8 month belly doing my thing through Pawtuxet Village (one of my favorite places to run), but I was forbidden and I obeyed.
When I was given the go-ahead after Adelaide’s birth, I was out of shape and well over the weight I wanted to be- starting slow and cutting myself a break was the most important part of getting back into training (bringing me from a whopping 147 pre-pregnancy to 138 post!).
Instead of going at it 7 days a week, I started with 1 day to learn to incorporate running into my new role as mom-runner. I don’t know when I’ll get back to my 7-days a week (running + biking + yoga), but reminding myself to go full-throttle without guilt actually means giving more to my life at home and not on the road is hard lesson, indeed, but so necessary!
5) Here’s where you can find Chelley: