Team ChiParks Member Spotlight: Martika Bertucci


The Chicago Parks Foundation welcomes all of our 2017 Team ChiParks runners! There are still spots available - learn more here

To kick off the training season, we connected with Team ChiParks runner Martika Bertucci to learn about her motivation to run for the parks. 

Why run for the parks? 

The 40th Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be Martika’s fourth marathon, but her first time running on Team ChiParks in support of the Chicago Parks Foundation. She chose to run for Team ChiParks because she wanted to impact the Chicago community. Martika noticed great improvements happening in Chicago parks, and wanted to be involved in enhancing Chicago’s green spaces.


Martika lives near Kilbourn Park with her fiance Anthony and her dog Ernie. She loves to run on the track with her dog, which is especially convenient during marathon training! Martika and her fiance also enjoy the soccer turf and the tennis courts at Kilbourn Park. She loves that on a nice day the whole community comes out to the park to relax.

Marathon Motivation

Since this is Martika’s fourth marathon, she’s familiar with the ups and downs of training. To challenge herself this year, Martika decided set a goal for her running time. She says her motivation for this marathon is about beating personal records and pushing herself to improve her time.

Fundraising Champion 

While the Chicago Marathon isn’t until October, Martika has beat her fundraising goal! She has found fundraising success in hosting fun events for her friends and family. "Be creative and have fun with it," she says. "Do what you think is fun and others will follow." 

For Martika and her fiance, having fun with it means hosting a Bob’s Burgers themed fundraiser in celebration of Earth Day. They decided to make burgers as they were cost efficient and delicious.


Martika said her key to success with this event was to plan early and use personal connections. She is getting married soon at the Revolution Brewpub, and decided to reach out to her contacts there for a donation. Revolution happily agreed to support the parks and provided all the beer for the fundraiser.

The event consisted mostly of Martika’s family, friends, and coworkers. Over 50 people attended the event, and were expected to donate at least $20 to the cause to enjoy an evening of burgers and beer. Martika also hosted a “split the pot” raffle. The tickets were $5 each, and whoever won the raffle got to keep half and the other half went to the fund. However, the winner of the raffle ended up donating their portion to the fund out of the kindness of their heart!

Martika noted that it’s important to supply donors with an incentive. In this case the incentive was a fun evening with friends and knowing they are supporting Chicago’s green spaces on Earth Day. Great work Martika!

What's next for Team ChiParks? 

Interested in running with Martika for the parks? Register for Team ChiParks today! Click here for more information.

CPF is hosting the first Team ChiParks Kick-Off Happy Hour TOMORROW, April 27th from 5:30pm to 7:00pmat the Goose Island Beer Company. First beer for all registered Team ChiParks runners is on Chicago Parks Foundation!

Running not your thing? Support Team ChiParks by making a donation to a runner here.