This month we feature another especially inspirational member, Marisa Ellero. You may have met Marisa helping at the TRT’s Tunnel Creek aid station or wearing her DPMR beanie on the trails. She also proudly wears her 75 years and hopes to inspire people of all ages to keep moving and having fun.
Where do you from, where do you live now, and how often do you make it over to Truckee?
I was born and grew up in a town in Friuli, a region in northern Italy. In 1967 I met my husband through friends and came to the United States when we got married. When my dear husband, Italo, died in 2009 I began to split my time between Michigan and Reno. I come to Truckee with my daughter and son-in-law every weekend that I’m in Reno.
When did you begin running/long-distance running? Why?
I ran my first marathon at the age of 64, 11 years ago. I loved walking and hiking as a girl in Italy but that wasn’t a part of my life in Detroit. When my husband began showing signs of dementia, my daughters encouraged me to start walking and running to keep healthy. When my daughter moved to Reno, I was able to start hiking on trails again, which really is my first love.
Do you race? Does racing motivate you? if not racing, what motivates you?
Yes, I like to race because I like to work towards a goal. I have done two road marathons and lots of road 1/2 marathons as well as shorter races. Now I would like to do more races on trails, my longest so far is 30K.
Do you have any dream races (either hoping to qualify for or get selected for)?
My dream is to walk the Camino de Santiago, a 500 mile pilgrimage in Spain. It’s not a race and there is no lottery, it will be a spiritual journey for me. My dream is coming true this year….I start my walk at the end of May!
Do you have a favorite on-trail food or nutrition strategy?
I depend on GU, espresso flavor is my favorite. I really noticed a change in my endurance when I started using gels.
What was your favorite running experience this past year?
Every day I can hike or run is my favorite, but I did Tour du Mont Blanc (as a ten day hike) this year: spectacular beauty!
What was your most challenging / character-building experience this past year?
Most challenging experience: I fell on the trail during a trail 1/2 marathon in Marin. My hand was cut open and bleeding all over the place and my daughter and son-in-law [editors note: both of whom are physicians] wanted me to DNF and get in the car. I insisted on finishing the race and later got 9 stitches.
What do you do for a living? Is it hard to fit in time for training?
I’m retired so I can do what I want!!
What led you to join the DPMR?
My daughter and son-in-law (JoAnn Ellero and Andy Pasternak) signed me up.
What was been your favorite DPMR experience so far?
I love wearing my bright yellow shirt or hat to represent even though I haven’t really done any events.
Do you ski or do any snow sports?
I also really love to snowshoe and I go out every winter weekend at Tahoe Donner.
Favorite local trail?
My favorite local trail is Mt. Rose summit in Reno and Hawk’s Peak in Truckee, but I love all the trails.
What other outdoor or indoor interests do you have?
Yoga, baking bread, cooking, sewing, reading
Any interesting facts about yourself you would like to share?
My motto: face your fears!!!