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EB50: The Oprah Spark – Cross Timbers Trail Run – A Chat with Mariela Botella


“If Oprah Winfrey can go out and run and marathon, I  can go run a marathon.” – Mariela Botella

When we look back on our life, we can see those moments that helped to weave the life thread of where we are today.

Mariela Botella of Texas, had one of those moments after hearing about Oprah Winfrey completing a marathon.

This was the spark that inspired Mariela to exploring running, even though she was inactive and a self described “couch potato”.

Mariela at TMBT 100k in Borneo.

Mariela at TMBT 100k in Borneo.

She started and took the first step.

Could barely run for five minutes on the treadmill.

Then she could run six minutes.

Seven minutes.

10 minutes.

And in 1998, she ran and finished the Houston marathon.

Mariela was hooked and knew she wanted to continue exploring the sport.

Two years later, Mariela would complete the Pikes Peak marathon which guides runners on winding trail up to over 14,000 feet before you turn around and run back down.

This started her love of running on trails that has continued to this day.

Mariela at Cascade Crest 100

Mariela at Cascade Crest 100

Mariela recently completed the Cross Timbers 50 miler in 11:51:11 and two weeks later, the Old Pueblo 50.

Enjoy our chat that includes the following musings and other useful goodies for you:

  • the Oprah moment
  • from 5 minutes on the treadmill to a marathon finish
  • memories from the Pikes Peak marathon
  • enjoying the solitude and butterflies on the trail
  • favorite local 96.4 mile trail near Houston
  • Mariela’s training – what does it look like?
  • memories from Cross Timbers including cookies and gnomes
  • memories from Old Pueblo

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David –

About the author

David Hanenburg David Hanenburg is the passionate dirt-lovin' creator of Endurance Buzz and has been playing in the endurance sports world since 2000 after knockin' the dust off of his Trek 950 hardtail thanks to a friend asking to go ride some local dirt. In 2007 he ran his first ultra on the trails and fell in love with the sport and its people. For more information on David's endurance sports journey, check out the About page.

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