Special Olympics Wisconsin Athlete Martha Hill Takes Strides to Become a Runner

February 24, 2014

Special Olympics Wisconsin (SOWI) athlete, Martha Hill, isn’t afraid of a challenge. Throughout her career with Special Olympics she has competed in aquatics and golf, served on SOWI Athlete Input Council (AIC), presented as an International Global Messenger, and acted as a State and International Law Enforcement® Torch Run (LETR) Council committee member. This year, she even joined the SOWI Board of Directors. 

But when SOWI’s Director of Development-Law Enforcement Torch Run, Julie Buedding, asked Hill if she wanted to run the Final Leg during the Special Olympics USA Games in New Jersey from June 14-21, 2014, she hesitated. 

“I didn’t know if I could run the distance expected of me,” Hill said. 

But that didn’t make her shy away; instead, she hit the ground running. 

“I decided to become a distance runner,” she said.  “I want to inspire my fellow athletes and serve as a positive role model. I hope when others see me run they will realize Special Olympics athletes are real athletes.”

To achieve her goal, she joined the new Special Olympics SO FIT! program, which encourages and recognizes athletes like Hill for participating in sporting events in their communities, such as 5K’s or half-marathons. 

As if that weren’t enough, she reached out to 65-year-old ultra-marathon runner, Roy Pirrung, last fall in hopes he could help her find a trainer. 

To her surprise, Pirrung, who recently completed a 100-mile race in Texas in just 23 hours and 20 minutes, offered to train her with the help of his wife, Chris. 

Martha Hill Running

“I find it rewarding to mentor and coach an athlete who shows desire and dedication,” he said. “She is upbeat, motivated and always has a smile on her face. She is willing to give everything she has to accomplish her goals.”

It’s only been a few months since she started training and Martha can already run for longer periods of time. She uses her swimming background to cross-train and improve her strength and flexibility.

Martha Hill Training

Everyday, Martha strides closer to her goal. She plans to participate in the Final Leg at the SOWI State Summer Games and complete a community 5K run. By making this training part of her lifestyle, she knows that one day she will run the LETR Final Leg for the Special Olympics World Games.


Comments are closed.

Subscribe to Inspire!

Join our mailing list to receive regular updates!