David Freeze: Gotta Run

Published 12:00 am Sunday, January 20, 2019

Mary Dudley Bertram Tramazzo comes home to Winter Flight races

When Mary Tramazzo comes home to visit, its always good when she can make a local race. One of Salisbury’s best, she’s hopeful of making the 2020 Olympic Trials for the marathon. On Sunday, January 27th, Mary will race the 36th Annual Winter Flight 8K at Catawba College as one of the favorites. On Saturday evening, she will also be the keynote speaker at the pre-race pasta meal/ late registration/ packet pickup/ SRR Annual Meeting at the City Park Recreation Center, 316 Lake Drive in Salisbury. Everyone is welcome, beginning at 6pm, and more information is available at www.salisburyrowanrunners.org

There are always great stories to go along with any runner and Mary is no exception. She answered a series of questions so we could all get to know her better. Mary said, “When I was 11 years old, my mom encouraged me to give track a try – it was the only sport offered for 5th graders at Cannon School in Concord.  Both of my parents enjoyed distance running and ran with me until I was able to out-run them.  I ran my first road race, the Salisbury Winter Flight, in 6th grade and have been hooked ever since.”

Then things started to pick up as Mary realized how good she was. She said, “As I transitioned from middle school to high school running, even though I was totally intimidated, I started to run in varsity meets and placed in a 1600-meter race.  As a freshman and sophomore, I was one of the faster high school runners at my school and in the area.  Success fueled me to train harder.”

I asked Mary, “What has been the reason or reasons for your success, high school, college and through today?” She replied, “Running requires dedication, but the return on investment makes the hard work worth it. I love setting new goals, planning a running program around the goal, and going for it on race day.”

The highlights of Mary’s running career so far have definitely been the biggest meets and fastest times: racing to an All-Conference finish at her senior year A-10 conference cross-country meet with the University of Richmond (run at UNC-Charlotte), a 4th place finish at the Philadelphia Marathon, and winning the Fayetteville/Fort Bragg Mike to Mike half-marathon in 2018.

Mary’s hobbies include volunteering at her kids’ schools, her church, and with her husband’s brigade Family Readiness Group. Mary said, “My husband John is a Major in the Army.  We have been stationed at Fort Bragg since 2016 and are moving to Charlottesville, Virginia next summer.  We have two beautiful kids, Robbie (6) and Mary Grace (4) and a black lab, Trigger.”

“With our upcoming move to Charlottesville, VA this summer, I look forward to working on my weakness in hill running and becoming a part of their very active running community. I plan to commit to a fall marathon and continue working to get closer to my ultimate goal of qualifying for the Olympic Trials in the marathon (and keep my ever-nagging IT band in check along the way),” said Mary.

I asked, “How has running been good for you?” Mary replied, “Running is a stabilizing force in my life, which can be crazy.  As an Army wife, I move around a lot, my husband deploys, and we never know exactly what’s next. Running is great for my mental health, it brings feelings of achievement, helps me connect with new people, and gives me time to recharge my batteries.”

After a quick 20 years since her first Winter Flight, Mary said, “It’s crazy to think that it has already been 20 years. I have been back for many races in Salisbury but have not run Winter Flight since high school. It is what I think of when I reflect on growing up running in Salisbury and I look forward to sharing it with my kids this year as they give the Fun Run a try.”

The 36th Annual Winter Flight races are historic after visits from huge numbers of runners from other states and other countries. The course records are outstanding and the same historic course has been used for 25 years and many runners will return with great stories of who they raced and how they did. But Winter Flight is Salisbury’s celebration of running and walking for every ability. Come see Mary and Madison Long, joining us all the way from San Diego, California, as well as plenty of your friends and neighbors on a very special day for Salisbury. Besides the 8K, there is also a timed 5K and half mile fun run too.