Alejandro Jaramillo used to not like running at all. But he had a goal: He wanted to run the New York City Marathon one day. “I didn’t want to run alone because I couldn’t motivate myself and didn’t know what I was doing,” he says. So he perused the list of local running groups on nyrr.org, and found North Brooklyn Runners.
“NBR is what showed me the beauty in running—meeting new people, helping each other and pushing each other to achieve new goals in running,“ he says. “All the support and advice has helped me in many ways to grow as a runner.”
Last month he marked a milestone: He crossed the finish line of his first marathon, right here in Brooklyn.
What he does when not running: “Drawing is something new I just started to do, but I also like to work out in the gym or practice martial arts. I try to keep myself busy so that I’m not bored at home all day.”
Favorite race distance: “Half marathon.”
Best running memory: “October 19, 2019: The day I finished my first marathon (Brooklyn Marathon). It wasn’t easy but NBR was there to cheer me on and help me push past the pain and tiredness. It was a great feeling to finish one and reminded me of the wonderful people who helped me to achieve this goal. To name them all would be a very long list, but thank you to everyone—I really appreciate it.”
Favorite running route in NYC: “I love running the bridges. They are very challenging. My favorite would be the three bridge run from NBR.”
What running has taught him: “There will be times that you want to give up because in your mind it’s impossible. How can people deal with this pain? You have to push on and keep moving. When you are finished and past all the pain you will be proud of yourself because you didn’t give up. This is also true in life. We all go through hard times. We should always keep moving forward to achieve our goals and things will get better. It just takes time.”
Favorite race food: “I love the fact that I get to eat all the pizza I can eat before my runs. Who doesn’t love pizza?”
Song that makes him want to run: “I always listen to ‘BREAK MY STRIDE’ by Matthew Wilder before a race. ‘I got to keep on movin.‘ That’s what I think about when I’m tired in a race.”
Favorite running social media account: “I always check Facebook to see all the events coming up for NBR. There are always events to help NBR members grow as runners.”
Best advice to running newbies: “Talk to other members in NBR. Go out for runs with NBR. You will see a difference over time. I wasn’t good at running but with NBR I have gotten better—still not as fast as the local competitive team but I’ll get there one day. NBR members are always giving great advice you just need to ask and they will help you.”
Current running goal: “To qualify for the Boston Marathon, which means I have to run a marathon under 3 hours for my age. It’s not going to be easy but I’ll work hard to get there someday.”