Sadly, we have lost our beloved friend and top endurance athlete Terry Martin to cancer on September 30th after a long on and off battle. We share some of our memories of a great athlete and friend to so many!
My Experience with Terry Martin, By Frank Sarate, SoCalCycling.com
Terry Martin who was well known to many people has passed away last week due to his fight with cancer for a second time. I have a hard time writing this as Terry Martin was one tough guy and I expected him to live to be over 100 years old.
It was back in the mid-80s and neon was the fashion, when I met Terry on the local Buds training ride on Wednesday nights. I just remember Terry and I were taking turns attacking the group which was unusual for the riders to do in such an aggressive manner. We would hook up and go on training rides and that always felt like a two-man time trial. We would often train on the local group rides and the outcome was the same as Terry was always on the front starting things off. This was of course after he had already run for 3-6 miles or more before he got on his bike and broke legs on any training ride.
If you got to know Terry, he was methodical and precise in everything he did. No matter if it was his work or training, Terry was like a machine analyzing everything to be the best that he could be at everything he did. I always admired that about him and even as focused as he was on himself, he was always willing to help other people out and always had a positive and calm surfer demeanor.
I remember he helped get me dialed in with an individual sponsorship with PowerBar and AME sunglasses in the mid-80s when I was a Cat 2 rider coming up through the ranks. That would always follow as he got to a higher position at Power Bar corporately. When Christy and I ran and sponsored some of the top Pro Women’s Teams in the 90s, he was always there for us no matter how big he got in the company. I believe he was the fifth person to be employed at PowerBar at the time as the company became a big player in the nutritional products market.
Terry always stayed humble and always stayed athletic and remained perpetually fit and was always pushing himself to the limit no matter the type of sport he was doing, whether it was rollerblading, cycling, running, surfing, doing video, photography, or working. Terry was always like a machine, always on point with everything he did.
When Terry asked for a favor, you always said when and where do you need me because it was Terry asking. Terry just had this aura about him. Terry was a rarest of individuals in the best ways. I was one of the lucky ones to be let in Terry’s world.
In Terry’s words, “Dude you were totally rad”. We will miss Terry greatly as I’m sure he had this effect on so many people he let into his circle.
Remembering Terry Martin, By Christy Nicholson, SoCalCycling.com
I was saddened to learn of the passing of our long-time friend Terry Martin after he succumbed to cancer, which he had fought and seemed to beat several years earlier.
I first met Terry in the late ’80s and became aware of his legendary status as an all-around endurance sports athlete including being a top age-group triathlete, duathlete, cyclist, runner, inline skater and surfer. Terry was lean, light, and built to hammer.
Terry had a generous heart and loved helping and inspiring other athletes, including mentoring Rudy Garcia-Tolson as a young triathlete from the age of eight who went on to represent the United States in the Paralympics.
Terry was humble, but very disciplined and would always tell me stories of how he trained every morning at 4 am so that he could get his workouts in while the rest of us were sleeping. Not being a morning person, I always thought he was crazy, but was always impressed with his dedication!
One of my early fun memories was when Terry invited Frank and I to skate with him, after we bought some rollerblades in 1990, on a course where we regularly did a weekly training criterium. Terry was fast and smooth and made it look easy in his state of the art skates and pro form!
In the ’90s a group of us would meet for a Wednesday night mountain bike ride in the winter with our lights and on Saturday mornings to do several laps around the Claremont Wilderness Park. As per usual, it was a hammer session every time. I remember catching Terry once halfway up the Burbank climb, he did a double-take and then it was game on with a race to the top, where he showed no mercy.
In the ’90s while working for PowerBar, Terry teamed up with the popular Malibu Triathlon where he put together many Celebrity Relay Teams over the years. Each year, he would put together some amazing teams of runners, cyclists and swimmers, including some famous stars like Robin Williams. I was lucky enough to be on his list of cycling friends that he could count on to participate and had a blast and always looked forward to Terry’s invitation each year and appreciated the work he put into pulling off all of the amazing teams each year!
In recent years, we stayed in touch and shared our passion for photography. I could always count on Terry for some great photography tips on how to shoot a cross country or downhill mountain bike race and enjoyed his latest surfing and cycling photos that he’d send me to check out!
Unfortunately, I did not know that Terry’s cancer returned and was saddened and surprised to hear of his passing. I will always be grateful for Terry’s friendship and support over the years and appreciate the positive impact he had on my life and will miss him greatly!
Photos courtesy Terry Martin