Stories And Inspiration
Meet the Coach: Peter Martinek-JenneSubmitted by on Jan 27th 2021 - 12:00AM. | Perma Link
Coach MJ, tell us a little about yourself!
I grew up on the east side of Cleveland, Ohio and am a lifelong Cleveland Indians, Cavs, and Browns fan - #DawgCheck! I went to college at Loyola University Chicago where I met my wife in our Education classes. We both became teachers and we got married in Chicago before moving to Greensboro in 2002. My first teaching job in Guilford County was at Peeler Open School for the Performing Arts where I taught a Kindergarten, First Grade, and Third grade for 15 years. I made the transition to Brooks Global Studies in 2016 as a Reading Specialist and am now the Curriculum Facilitator there. I have a freshman son playing basketball at Greensboro College, a junior son who plays Varsity basketball at Grimsley HS, and my daughter is in 4th Grade with me at Brooks.
Awesome! How did you first become involved with GO FAR?
I started coaching GO FAR a long time ago in GO FAR’s earliest days when I was at Peeler. We had small but tremendously committed teams of runners that loved every minute of it. It was a special group of students and family members that used GO FAR to get outside and get moving. I would say that the majority of those students would never have run a 5K race without GO FAR!
When I came to Brooks Global I was really bummed to leave Peeler’s GO FAR program but my teammate and colleague, Jennifer Smith, continued Peeler’s strong GO FAR tradition! What I didn’t realize was that Brooks Global also had an incredible program. I jumped in with Courtney Field the PE Teacher and GO FAR Coach and we have continued Brooks Global’s tradition of huge super engaged teams. Our last race pre-pandemic we had over 140 runners just from the Brooks Global community! WOW!
You and Courtney have made an incredible team! We can't wait to see you guys get back out there. What would you say is your favorite memory of coaching GO FAR?
One of my favorite memories about coaching GO FAR is the incredible support that family members have given our runners. GO FAR is truly a family affair and race days are so special for all involved. We’ve had grandparents, aunts and uncles, mothers and fathers, younger and older siblings, and friends practice and run the races with us. I also LOVE the GO FAR t-shirts and can’t bring myself to get rid of a single one!
Love it! What do you feel is the most beneficial part of involvement in GO FAR for the children who participate? The adults?
The best part of GO FAR is giving our runners the opportunity to do something they might never have done before. Almost every season there are some runners who have never done anything like this before. Joining the team, setting a goal, working hard for weeks, then cross the finish line after 3.1 miles is amazing to think about! This sense of accomplishment and seeing it on their faces as they cross the finish line is the best feeling in the world!
What is something fun and unique about your club at Brooks Global?
One of our favorite traditions both at Peeler and at Brooks Global has been to celebrate with our runners after the season is over – whether they actually ran in the race or just trained with us for 8+ weeks. We celebrate with a Smoothie Party – healthy snacks and fresh fruit smoothies and we wear our GO FAR shirts and race medals. It is one of the highlights of every season!