Kathy Martin modestly notes 3K WR a month before ABQ nationals

USATF named Kathy Athlete of the Week on Friday.

Five years ago, Kathy Martin was profiled by The New York Times. A newbie W60, she was mowing down age-group records. The video below shows her setting the 3K indoor record (11:16.50) at the Armory on Jan. 19, 2012. A week short of five years later, Jan. 12, Kathy returned to the Fort Washington Avenue track and ran the 3K again. Same result: a WR of 11:37.19. I wasn’t aware of this when she clocked 11:53.32 at ABQ nationals, which was depicted as an American record. (The WR she broke was Angela Copson’s 11:49.53.) Freshly minted as USATF Athlete of the Week, Kathy graciously shared some thoughts in a quickie Q&A. And that’s where I learned of her incredible 11:37. I asked her which if her three records at nationals was toughest, and she replied: “3000 at about lap 11 I was struggling for air and times showed it. I had run 11:37 in Armory.” There’s humble Kathy for you. But she’s still ambitious. Check out her list of potential records in 2017.

Here’s my email interview with Kathy, conducted before AoW was announced.

Masterstrack.com: How did you summon the energy to run at 800 after doing 3K and mile?

Kathy Martin: Felt great going in. Must have been the warmup of the previous two races. Focus and mindset plays a role for me — three goals WR, AR and sub-6 minutes was goal. Got 2 out of 3.

Did younger ladies, aware of your record paces, help you on track, or show encouragement?

Younger ladies always encouraging. Wish I could run shorter distances in their races so less people to go around, sometimes in third lane.

Any injury or illness issues at nationals?  Any other challenges you overcame for the three records?

Mental issues. Chuck [husband and coach Chuck Gross] just kept saying don’t listen to athletes talking about the altitude. Don’t allow it to enter your mind. And don’t listen to talk of age. I cannot believe I am 65. 

What motivates you now? If records weren’t kept, would you still be competing?

Running is my passion and I love it. We also have traveled to many places that we would not otherwise have seen if not for running. My greatest goal is that we are role models for the younger generation and that they see through us that the philosophy is Fit For Life.

What is your major meet schedule this year?

Daegu in March, USATF road events and possibly in May 2017 in Grass Valley track meet for world record [attempt] in outdoor mile.

Which other records are you targeting this year?

1500 indoors and out, mile indoor and out, 3000 indoor and out, possibly improve on outdoor 5000 and possible world record in 10K – too hot in Perth — and steeple. If you are interested in roads, these records: 8K, 10K, 15K, 10 miles, 20K, 25K, half-marathon,

Have you ever been timed at 100 or 200?  Have any guess what you could run now?

Ran relay in Perth 4×100. OMG. Mary [Trotto] told me don’t worry about the fact that I have never run it. If you burp, it is over. I do not know why I get talked into it as I do not EVER do that speed and training. Have no interest in 100 and 200. chuck says I could run low 30s in 200. [Nadine O’Connor holds the listed W65 WR of 29.37.]

How much prize money have you made on LDR circuit? Does it cover expenses to road runs and meets?

Over the years, I have earned thousands, but it does not come close to covering expenses — and of course that is not the reason I run 🙂

How long will you continue running track and roads?

Until I feel the dirt fall on my face. I will be a used up piece of dust

What’s your support system — clubs, coaches, trainers, massage folks, etc.?

How long do you have :)? Team Martin consists of a chiropractor, PT, massage, acupuncture, some cross training and a relentless coach/bag boy

Anything else people should know about your ABQ outing?

Chuck’s ankle swelled on the plane and he was hobbled. So swollen, red and unable to walk so [we] were limited in what we could do. Also I do not sleep a lot at home and make up for it when I travel, which is great.

Chuck often has to do the mirror test on me. Got to see a couple of movies but the best is seeing all the masters athletes and officials who have become friends over the years and are still healthy and participating. Awesome facility and loved that it was so close to host hotel.

Oh yes. And I had to negotiate on a couple of houses while in Albuquerque [as a real estate agent].

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February 25, 2017

3 Responses

  1. Peter L. Taylor - February 25, 2017

    Kathy has been a big part of my announcing career, and I’m proud to have announced more than a few of her record races.

    No high school or college career, couldn’t run a lick when she was 30, and now a superstar with great form. Hard to top this story.

  2. Rick Easley - February 27, 2017

    She is also a very nice person. When I was having a coughing attack due to lung irritation at the altitude of Albequerque, she returned several minutes later and presented me with a handful of cough drops. I had a much easier rest of the day. thanks again Kathy!

  3. SusieQ - February 27, 2017

    Well done inspirational performances!

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