Mile News

My Favorite Things: Brenda Martinez

October 03, 2013

The 2013 World Championships bronze medalist reveals her go-to workout, recovery meal and more; also "giving back" in abundance

By Courtney Baird,

Brenda Martinez may be a bright new star in the world of elite middle-distance racing, but she hasn’t let that get in the way of her eagerness to give back to her community.

The weekend after she qualified for this past summer’s World Championships in the 800 meter run by finishing second at the USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships in Des Moines, Iowa, 26-year-old Martinez hosted a running camp in Big Bear, Calif., for five athletes who had won an essay-writing contest, one of whom she will continue to personally mentor.

"I really feel that it’s important to give back,” says Martinez, a Rancho Cucamonga, Calif., native and University of California, Riverside alum, where she was an All-American 1500m runner. “Even when I was in high school, we didn’t have anything like [a running camp] — if I can start something and continue it every year, make it bigger and maybe have more girls come up, it’d be really fun.”

Part of the inspiration for the camp came from her coach, Joe Vigil, known throughout the distance-running community as the brains behind 2004 Olympic Marathon bronze medalist Deena Kastor and the storied Adams State University cross country team in Colorado. “Coach obviously gave me the encouragement to do the camp,” Martinez says.

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