John Habib's City Sports: Sharing lessons learned in Manchester
A longtime resident of Marblehead, Mass., Manchester Memorial High graduate Marti Shea returns to her native state on a regular basis for the Newton's Revenge and Mount Washington Hillclimb bicycle races, which she's won a combined nine times. Now she's looking to increase her profile in New Hampshire through the website for her coaching business, www.Martisheacoaching.com.
A national champion runner at Memorial and later an All-American at Boston University, Shea lends her expertise to runners, cyclists and triathletes of all ages and abilities.
And she's someone who knows the value of a good coach.
Competing under the guidance of then-Memorial coach Doug Glance as a senior in 1981, Shea won the Class L (now Division I), state and New England championships in the 3,200 meters and a national championship in the 3,000.
Shea said her dad, Bill, first convinced her to take up running and directed her to Glance.
"I was originally a soccer, basketball and softball player," she said. "In the fall of 1978, when my dad was reading the Union Leader sports page, he commented on the times of the girls in a recent cross-country meet. When he read me the times, I said I could run faster than that. My dad told me to back it up and call Mr. Glance. I did, ran for the team and placed fourth or fifth. From that day forward, I knew running was going to be in my future."
But she credits Glance for developing the natural talent she brought to that first race.
"He was instrumental in helping me to achieve this goal," Shea said. "He was the most unselfish and caring coach I ever had. He taught discipline and hard work, and those are traits I carry with me to this day."
Now she's sharing those lessons, along with everything else she's learned through more than three decades of high-level competition — and she's only a few keystrokes away.
"City Sports" is published Saturdays in the New Hampshire Union Leader. Email staff reporter John Habib at firstname.lastname@example.org.