Newmarket, Ont.’s Nicholas Mota on his life as a committed runner
Nick Mota credits his mom with starting what has turned out, thus far, to be an auspicious running career. “My mom ran Boston when I was younger. I thought it was pretty cool and started going on some runs with her and then things just went from there,” Mota says. From there, the Newmarket High School student went on to take silver as a midget runner at the ofsaa crosscountry championships and gold in the 3,000m at the ofsaa track championships. He managed a triple-gold season as a junior, winning ofsaa cross-country and taking the wins in both the 3,000m and the 1,500m on the track at ofsaa championships.
What’s the biggest misconception people have about runners?
I always get the question: “Why do you run?” It’s part of my life now, I can’t go more than two days without running – I get jumpy and antsy. I think people think it’s weird because they don’t think that it’s possible to enjoy running. The truth is, once you start running and get over the period of time when it feels hard, then you really start to enjoy it to the point where you can’t imagine not having it be a part of your life.
What advice would you give to beginner runners?
I’d definitely say to run with friends. Since I’ve started training with the Newmarket Huskies, I look forward to going to practice to see my friends. If I didn’t have a club and people to share the hard workout experiences with, I don’t think I would be as excited to go out and put the work in.
What’s your pre-race routine?
About an hour beforehand, I do some foam-rolling, then head out for a jog. Closer to the race I do drills and strides. I run best when I’m relaxed and not thinking about the race, so I focus on just keeping calm.
What are your future goals in the sport?
I definitely want to run in college or university. In the long term, I want to make Team Canada and eventually the Olympics. Right now though, I’m looking more at short term goals and taking things one season at a time and focusing on performing well at nationals.
What’s your average training week look like?
Monday, we do a long run of 14–18k. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays are usually easy for about 7k. We do our workouts on Wednesdays, usually intervals or hills. I take Friday as a rest day. And Saturdays are either a workout or race.
Are there any runners you look up to?
Justyn Knight, for sure. He’s an incredible runner and he’s just getting started.— CF
AGE 16 HOMETOWN Newmarket SCHOOL Newmarket High School CLUB Newmarket Huskies PB 3:56 (1,500m) “I always get the question: ‘Why do you run?’ It’s part of my life now, I can’t go more than two days without running – I get jumpy and antsy.”