As an immigrant my mother left El Salvador without looking back and brought me to the farmlands of the San Joaquin Valley for work. As a child I would run through the farmlands where she worked everyday. This simple act would foster a lifelong love for running and the outdoors. This act also reminds me of everything that my mom sacrificed for me to get a chance to live the American Dream. The values and work ethic that she instilled in me by her example is a powerful force that has driven me since I was a kid. + Read More
My running career began at Westside Elementary School. Mr. Hernandez announced track tryouts for 4th graders and I showed up anyway, despite being only a 3rd grader. After sprinting around for 400 meters and besting a few of the older kids, the rules were immediately changed and I was toeing the line in a navy blue Westside Lions uniform grinning from ear to ear.
I ran all through high school and college however, the beginnings of a long distance running career didn’t manifest until the age of 30, where a desire to accomplish something longer than I had ever ran before was building inside of me. I signed up for my first 50km, after only ever completing a 12km (which felt like an ultra.) After about two years realizing that I could run longer, I decided to make some life changes. I immediately committed to eating a healthier diet and reducing the overall quantity that I ate on a daily basis, which was tough, because to this day, I’m still a big foodie (and by big, I mean palate and not body size)! Within two years, not only did I lose 30 lbs, but I also began to realize my potential in the sport.
With the influence of the incredible ultra-running community that embraced me with open arms, I decided it was time to make an even bigger leap of faith and see if I could run 100 miles (yeah I know it’s crazy, but you don’t know what you can achieve if you don’t try)! In 2011, I ran the Tahoe Rim Trail 100, which was host to the 100 Mile National Championship. I was so afraid of the distance, yet fully committed and confident in my training and mental tenacity to get me through it regardless of the unknown barriers that were to come. I ended up running through the mountains of Tahoe for eighteen hours and forty-eight minutes, good enough to win the 100-mile National Championship! And yes, I cried. It was a life changing experience, which created incredible opportunities and allowed me to reflect on how far I’ve come from those days running around in the farmlands of San Joaquin Valley.
Since then, I have been very fortunate to be a professional ultra-runner, where I’ve raced across the globe to Argentina, Brazil, China, Canary Islands, Australia, Europe, Canada, and many of the beautiful mountain landscapes in the U.S. I continue to pursue excellence in my running, while remembering my humble roots and cherishing the values that my mother instilled in me to chase and fight for my dreams without looking back. - Close