Member Spotlight: Melissa Barnetche

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What excites you most about running the 2014 TCS New York City Marathon?

Well, IT IS THE NYC MARATHON! That’s enough to be so thrilled! Besides, my brother is coming all the way from Brazil, where he lives, to run the marathon together. My mom and my stepdad will be coming to cheer us up from Mexico, where we’re from. And my sister in law and my favorite little rockstar dude, my nephew (he’s 2.5 years old and loves rock n’ roll, he plays air guitar and headbangs whenever a rock song comes up, his favorite being TNT by AC/DC and everything Elvis), are coming, too. And my friends who have been supportive all these months of training and fundraising will certainly be there, too; they’re all really excited! Besides, November second is my birthday! Can’t wait for the millions of people that come watch the marathon to shout a “happy birthday” while I run! In 2008 which was the last time the NYC marathon was held on November 2nd, I promised myself to run the marathon next time it landed on my birthday. And here I am six years later!

What is your favorite place to run and why?
In nature. I feel transported, out of this world, I completely lose myself, it is very relaxing and exhilarating at the same time.

If you run with music, what are your favorite artists or songs to listen to?
For a long time, I was unable to run without music. It was almost as important as my running shoes! I asked friends to fill my ipod shuffle with music so it was always a surprise. For the last four years I’ve been running with the last playlist my friends did for me with metal, heavy metal, punk, rock, hardcore, and one or two funky surprises mixed in. Lately, I’ve been enjoying the quietness of long runs in nature without music, just listening to my steps and the sounds of nature.

What is your favorite post-run meal?
EVERYTHING! I run to eat! And I love beer. Need those carbs to run, right?

When did your relationship with running begin and why?
We’ve been into sports our whole lives. I was an active kid and have never stopped taking up new activities. I did classic ballet for 7 years, played tennis and paddle tennis, professional waterskiing and raced jetskis, played basketball in school, turned to yoga and rock-climbing later, played golf for a while, boxing, biking and spinning (love SoulCycle!), etc. I still do most of these things at least once in a while. My mom used to run, too (she still works out every day), and during weekends we would go with her to the woods in the outskirts of Mexico City to have a fun family run with her. My dad would go too, but he was more of a sponsor and supporter than a distance runner, hahaha! He would jog for a while and then he would just wander off, but he would always be waiting with refreshments or had already found a spot at the nearest quesadillas stand. My mom taught us to breathe and pace ourselves since, being kids, we liked running fast. Also, at that time, I had a couple of friends whose parents ran marathons (the early 1970’s and 1980’s marathons) and I always saw the posters and photographs at their homes and thought they were superhuman, 26.2 miles is a lot of miles! I fantasized of running a marathon one day the same way I wished I could fly, I thought it was impossible! And many years later I went to Chicago, it was 2007, to watch my brother run the marathon. It was his first. I couldn’t really catch him throughout the course, I ran all over Chicago to try and get a glimpse of my brother running in the crowd but I couldn’t find him, not until the very end, less than half a mile before the finish line, and he made this face, he looked sooooooo exhausted and yet so happy and proud, and right there I knew I had to run a marathon; I wanted to feel that. We ran Philadelphia the following year.

Do you have any pre-race rituals or superstitions, if so, please explain?
No. I just enjoy the loading up on carbs!

Why 26.2?
Why not?!?!?!

Tell us a little more about yourself
I was born the Day of the Dead the year Elvis died. I’m a Mexican gal living in Brooklyn. I love music, I paint, I do interior design and set decoration, I read a lot, I change the color and style of my hair often, I like dancing and drinking and eating, I’m a great hostess, I love having people around and cooking for them, I enjoy an occasional cigarette, I enjoy riding the subway, I have a vivid imagination, I love movies and documentaries, I enjoy traveling. This is my first time doing fundraising and it has been a wonderful experience, it will definitively not be the last one!

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