By Rachael Marotta

After winning in her age group at the Brooklyn Half Marathon, May 2021.

BRC's first Meet a Member class kicked off with a long distance runner Martha Diesslin.

Martha didn't start running marathons until she was in her 50s. We enjoyed hearing about how she first started running, how she prepares for a race, and — best of all — her favorite post-race treat: ice cream. Martha shared her medals, trophies, and marathon t-shirts, highlighting some interesting aspects from some of the races.

Runners often seem to be perfect athletes — almost machine-like — but Martha was a straight shooter. We enjoyed hearing Martha tell us about the good aspects of running as well as the tougher aspects. "Here's a picture of me at the end of a race, looking half-dead!" We appreciated the honesty, and we admired her tenacity. (See this one and other the photos below)

At the end of Martha's presentation, our BRC exercise instructor and physical therapist Maryann Coughlin gave us some great tips on exercise for older adults. The key takeaways? Accept your body's limitations, but don't ever stop moving: exercise is beneficial for everyone.

We'd like to thank Martha Diesslin for sharing her running journey with us. Would you like to share a story or a hobby? Is there another member you'd like to nominate to be our guest? Help us Meet a Member! Contact Rachael Marotta at

Photos courtesy of Martha Diesslin. Below: a bit tired at end of Delaware marathon; with husband Andy finishing a half marathon; medal and trophy displays. Wow!

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