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... stories, adventures and all things related to life in Singapore and Southeast Asia by AWA members

Celebrating Bernie Tretta and her 50th Marathon

Kilometres of Friendship and Fun
by Keri Matwick

In this issue, we feature Bernie Tretta, one of the AWA Running Group leaders, who completed her 50th marathon in Houston this past January 2023. Bernie’s positive energy and dedication to running are inspiring. She shares her experience on reaching her goal.

Bernie running her 50th marathon in Houston

1. Wow, your 50th marathon! Tell us about that day! How did you feel?

It was a really great day! I spent most of December traveling or sick, so the 6 weeks leading up to the marathon were definitely not ideal. But the day itself was great. It was perfect weather, loud crowds and lots of fun. The race was in Houston, where I lived for 15 years before moving to Singapore in 2019, so I knew a lot of people. I didn't run even a single mile without seeing someone I knew. That really helps it feel like a party. To top it off, my husband happened to be in Houston for a work meeting, so he was waiting at the finish line with my medal.

2. Could you tell us what inspired you to have this goal?

I actually didn't have this as a goal. A few years back, I had a goal to run 40 marathons before I turned 40 years old. When I was 39, I had to pile on the races to meet the goal, but once that was done, I went back to running a few races a year, and next thing I knew, I was at 50.

3. What motivates you to run?

I love exploring. Even here in Singapore, where I feel like I've seen every square inch of this island, there are still new places, animals, and sunrises to see.

Side note - okay so this is hard for me to answer because different things motivate me at different times. I don't think anyone that has run for 20 years only has one motivation. They change with the seasons and sometimes daily. In the beginning, I ran to lose weight. But here in Singapore, exploring is definitely a big one.

4. What is your favorite post-race reward?

Definitely sugar. When in Texas I LOVE a michelada and iced tea post run, with some sort of ice cream, cupcake or cookie. Here in Singapore, I can easily settle for just the sugar.

5. What advice would you give someone who is training for her first marathon?

Find friends to train with. It will be hard at points (it is supposed to be hard!), but friends will help you get through it. Set realistic goals for yourself and adjust when you need to. And don't ignore the weight training.

Bernie running her first marathon with her brother

6. What has been your favorite marathon?

That's a tough one. I've had quite a few wonderful ones. My first Boston Marathon was pretty magical. So was my 40th marathon. But honestly, there are so many, it is hard to say.

Bernie with her husband, Zach, after completing her 50th marathon in Houston

7. What's next?

I'm not really sure. I think I'd like to do a few more trail races and maybe a few more ultras, but Singapore isn't really ideal for the training. I guess I will just see what comes up.

We’ll continue cheering for Bernie but from afar as we wish Bernie and her husband Zach all the best as they return to Houston this April.

We will miss you, Bernie!


​Interested in having fun while running? Yes, it's possible!! Join us Tuesdays at the Botanic Gardens for a 5k and get to know us over coffee. Then, explore new routes and see Singapore in a new light on Thursday and Saturday mornings. Reach out to us by email ( or our FB page to learn more!


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AWA members are women who come from many countries and life experiences but they all have one thing in common — they have chosen to live in Singapore. Some members are new to Singapore,  while some have been here a long time or have returned to Singapore after time away. Our magazine - written and curated by AWA members - focuses on a diverse range of topics including wellness and family, travel tips, cultural events and information, and other helpful tips around navigating and experiencing life in Singapore to it's fullest. 

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