MATTAPOISETT — The thought of running 8½ 5k races, back-to-back, may not sound inviting, but it's on the bucket list of Madisen Martin of Old Rochester Regional High School.
The senior student-athlete is where she is today, thanks to her mother, Diana Saunders-Martin. Mom runs marathons and was the impetus for Madi to start running when she was in the seventh grade.
Her races, limited to 3.1 miles, and her success running them enabled Martin to earn The Standard-Times Girls Cross Country Runner of the Year honors.
The marathons will have to wait for awhile.
“Mom is a marathon runner and I want to try it some day,” Martin said. “I was in seventh grade and I saw the high school girls running by and I wanted to be like them. I had run road races with mom and that was fun. I joined the team and that was fun. Then, I met Cindy and she made me a runner.”
Cindy is Old Rochester coach Cindy Tilden, who has turned out countless outstanding cross country and track athletes coaching with her husband Bill, who's also the school's athletic director.
“Madisen brings high intensity to her training, but also brings that same intensity to the relationships she makes with her teammates,” Cindy said. “The girls know that she is someone they can count on to be there when they need her support, whether at practice, school or home.”
Mother and daughter have quite a connection through their running.
“One day, I'd like to run a marathon with my mother,” Martin said. “Mom is funny. She sends me inspirational quotes and metaphors before a competition. 'Fly as fast as Superman'; 'Run like a racehorse.' It makes me laugh and calms me down and I know she'll be waiting for me at the finish line.”
As sure as the race will reach the finish line, Martin has set her sights on the next steps in her life — college and running.
“I'm applying for nursing at Worcester State and Rhode Island College,” she said. “It will be good to take my four years of running and put them into college.
“The schools both have a small campus. I love Marion and it was very important to find colleges that were small and home like. I always knew I wanted nursing — and running.”
While Martin ran her fastest time this season at 20:03.20, that wasn't her personal best. That occurred at the All-State Meet in 2015, her sophomore season. The race was held in Westfield and she clocked a 19:50.
Her sights are set on a three-minute 1000 and a sub-5:30 mile this winter. She hopes to run the 800 anchor on the school's sprint medley relay team and show her versatility in this spring's pentathlon.