Megan Martelli headed to the finish line.

Veteran runners were able to take a break from training to reflect on their marathon experience in the annual Mad Marathon race, set to hit the ground running on July 7.

Megan Martelli, 42, of Denver, Colorado, has been running for 22 years. This year will be Martelli’s ninth year participating in the Mad Marathon. She has also run the half marathon numerous times, a three-woman relay, split the half and run on a five-person relay.

Asked about the Mad Marathon, Martelli said she loves supporting the event: “I began running in the Mad Marathon in memory of my sister, Hannah Bedford, whose death was the catalyst for founding Hannah's House, a nonprofit located in Waitsfield. This race is our biggest fundraiser of the year. I also love the fact that it draws visitors to the Mad River Valley to help support the local businesses. I grew up just off of the Waitsfield Common Road so running these roads bring back so many great memories,” said Martelli.

Tisa Rennau, Fayston, is a member of the Mad River community who also runs the marathon annually. Rennau has been running for over 30 years and comes back to the marathon to support the event.

Left to right, Tisa Rennau, granddaughter Waverly and daughter Jesse.
Left to right, Tisa Rennau, granddaughter Waverly and daughter Jesse.

“I have always wanted to support this extraordinary community event and feel honored to participate as a Team Hannah member or to support the fundraising efforts of a Team Hannah runner. We are so fortunate to have this locally based resource dedicated to the well-being of all members of our community. This race is a great way to sustain the invaluable mental health initiatives Hannah’s House offers,” said Rennau via email.

Rennau also runs the race with her daughter, although the pair trains separately. Rennau has a six-week work half marathon training plan she uses that has not failed her yet.

“My ‘epic’ plan consists of four running days a week – back to back on Mondays and Tuesdays and Fridays and Saturdays. Saturdays are the long runs: 4, 6, 8, 10 and 11. There are two rest days and a cross-training day. I use yoga as my cross-training option,” said Rennau.



As far as training for Martelli, she has a fun mix of workouts. “My training consists of a mix of swimming, mountain biking, running, hiking, yoga and strength training. I now live in Colorado which luckily also has a lot of hills and altitude which is good for training. Joslin Hill and North Road always surprises me by their steepness though,” she said.

Rennau loves the event for the community aspect and for a personal reason. “Honestly, when you around the last corner, you begin to hear the cheers for others finishing and your heart races a bit. Then I see my granddaughter, who runs to meet me, holds my hand and propels me to the finish line with her excitement. I feel very grateful for the dedicated organizers and volunteers who make this memorable experience happen for locals and visitors to our beautiful valley,” said Rennau.