BOULDER — When Lauren Martin was growing up in Alamosa, she was never far away from a track or cross country meet. Her father, the longtime track coach at Adams State University, often joked with his runners that no one had been to more national championship meets than his children.
“They just grew up with cross country and track their whole lives,” Damon Martin said.
Lauren Martin went on to lead a celebrated career at Adams State, capturing four NCAA Division II titles — two in the 5K, two in the 10K — before her collegiate career ended in 2016. For many of those years, she traveled to the Bolder Boulder every Memorial Day to watch friends compete and be inspired by the professional runners.
On Monday, her professional career as a runner and coach just beginning, she finally raced in the citizens division, finishing as the top female in 34 minutes, 55.03 seconds.
“This is my first year as a postcollegiate, and I’m finally learning how to do that,” said Martin, 25. “This (course) is significantly harder than training in Alamosa. Even though it’s 2,000 feet higher, we have no hills. As soon as we hit the hills, it started getting really rough and my legs became fatigued.”
She flew in Sunday afternoon from Bradenton, Florida, where Adams State was wrapping up its outdoor season at the Division II national track and field championships.
Lauren Martin is engaged to be married to former Adams State runner Kyle Masterson, the captain of the cross country team that won a national title last fall. Their wedding is scheduled in South Fork in less than two weeks on June 10. A week later, she’ll run a half marathon in Duluth, Minnesota. After that, she’ll end her season and head to Europe on her honeymoon.
“I have a lot going on,” Martin said.
Martin specialized in the 5,000 and 10,000 meters in college (her fastest 10K time was 34:18). After finishing graduate school at Adams State with a degree in business and an emphasis on leadership, she turned to coaching at Trinidad State Junior College in Alamosa, building a program from scratch with guidance from her father — who still coaches her — and some assistance from Masterson.
“It’s something we’re passionate about,” Masterson said. “We both want to help that team and that program.”
This year, she also added a track program, hoping to attract stronger recruits.
“They let me get up in the morning and do all of my stuff, take a section off in the middle of the day to do my run, and then my team practices in the afternoon,” Lauren Martin said.
“For her, it was natural to go into coaching,” Damon Martin said. “She’s enjoyed that. I think it’s been fun and she’s had some great success this year, and I’m proud of what she’s learned and what she’s doing.”
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Courtesy file photo