This edition of our Member Spotlight features Lulu Martinez! I had the opportunity to chat with the decorated ultra marathoner and Charity Miles champion! Check it out!
“I'm from Mexico, but I've been living in New York for 5 years now. I came here to go to grad school, and after obtaining an M.S. in publishing I got a job and stayed. I'm a Senior Communications manager at Kensington Books. I run marketing and publicity campaigns for books.”
Lulu began to compete in ultra marathons after completing her first half marathon several years ago, discovering her love for running along the way. “After completing my first half marathon a friend and I were celebrating when the idea of running a 50K popped into our minds. We thought that if running a half felt that great, then it was only logical that a 50K would be much more rewarding.” Soon after Lulu signed up for the North Face Endurance Challenge, a 50K race in Bear Mountain, NY in 2014. “On race day I gave it my all, when I crossed the finish line I knew I had found something worth treasuring.”
When asked what she loves about running Lulu emphatically responded, “Everything! I love that running mirrors life, sometimes you are up and sometimes you are down, but no matter what you need to keep moving. I believe running (or any other activity that you do with discipline) helps you become resilient. And this is so true when you run long distances and you are out there for many hours. There will be challenges and setbacks thrown at you, but overcoming those challenges helps you build a stronger mind. And when life gives you a challenge in a way you are more mentally prepared.”
Over the last several years Lulu has continued to enter into various ultra marathons, culminating with the completion of three 100-mile races to date! The support system and sense of community certainly play a large role in Lulu’s love of ultra marathons, among other things. “I think I come back to ultras because of the community, the time spent in nature, the journey and because of the feeling running ultras give me. The community of the sport is like no other. Out there we all want to see each other succeed, we support each other and will take care of other runners if we see them in distress. People will cheer for the elite who break the tape and for the person who just made it with one second to spare before the cut off.”
Although the races are certainly difficult, so is the training. “The journey is the hardest part. For me it is even harder than the race itself. The training will really test how bad you want it and you learn so much about you and about your own limits when you train. I believe that something so daunting changes you and humbles you.”
Lulu first head about Charity Miles when scrolling through social media a few years back. “I saw people posting things like “I just ran 3 miles using Charity miles” and I started looking into it and I thought it was brilliant! I have used it since and never looked back. Charity Miles gives to causes that are dear to my heart. I believe that we don't need to be rich to be influencers and to make a change in the world. I have two legs and running shoes so running is how I can make a difference.”
In regard to charity, Lulu supports Every Mother Counts, a fantastic organization for which she has served as an ambassador for the last 2 years. EMC works to promote maternal health on a global scale.
Lulu loves to change up her workouts, incorporating various types of exercises into her routine. Her workouts are “usually about an hour, and I do them before work. Sometimes it is a short tempo run, or speed workout, or hill training. I also do Yoga and strength training.”
In 2013 she started an Instagram page devoted to running (along with her other outdoor activities). “When I first opened it I didn't really post, but when I signed up for the Vermont 100 miler I started posting because I wanted to keep some sort of journal of my training. What I didn't expect was the amazing community I met. Using the #CharityMiles I was able to connect with people that to this day I'm proud to call friends. Such is the case of Krista Alderice, @vtrunnermom who was training for the exact same race and we connected using that hashtag. We kept each other motivated and even logged in some miles together. To me, Instagram is a way to connect with people who inspire me.”
You can stay up to date with Lulu’s activities on her Instagram page @lulu.mnyc.
Do you have an interesting Charity Miles story? Share it with us!