Meet Michael and Gina, Pasadena Pacers President and VP

Michael Ramos, Pasadena Pacer President

Previously our Vice President, Michael started his President tenure having photographed almost every Pacer who has run a race in the last four years. He shows up early to all Pacer races to offer support to our runners, a genuine gesture that is beyond appreciated. Learn more about Michael below and feel free to join him as a volunteer at any of our races.

How long have you been a Pacer? This is my eighth year with the Pacers.

Why did you join our amazing club? I ran alone for a number of years and would see the Pacers at a lot of local races. In 2013 I saw the Pacers at Rock N Roll Pasadena. They were just having too much fun and I wanted to be part of the fun. My next step was to start following the Pacers on Facebook. While following them online I was scared to join for several months. Then the Boston Marathon bombing happened and the Pacers hosted a unity run at the Rose Bowl. While on the run, I met several Pasadena Pacers. They were so welcoming that my fear left me and I’ve rarely missed a long run since.

Why do you run? Running is my form of moving meditation. It’s my time during each day to really get away from it all and be with my thoughts. Running is the one activity that’s physically exhausting, but mentally and emotionally recharging. Every run presents a new challenge, a new opportunity to push myself, and a new time to reflect on everything else going on. Simply put, running is my sanity.

What makes you want to do long runs? Over the years I’ve had some of the clearest thoughts while on my long runs. Every now and then I need a good spiritual moment. So I go out and run a 16-miler and it never fails.

Favorite post-run snack/meal? I like fresh fruit, mango being my favorite.

What do you do for fun? I enjoy gardening, watching team sports, and history.

Do you have a secret talent? I can flick a soccer ball with one of my feet on to my head and stall it on my face like a seal.

What do you think is the best thing about the Pacers? The best thing about the Pacers is the people. When I first came to the Pacers I just wanted to run. However what I found was so much more than that. I found great community leadership. I’ve formed relationships with some wonderful people. While running with them a lot of times we’ll chat about things I typically wouldn’t even think about. As a result of this I feel like I’ve become a more well-rounded person.

Anything else you’d like your fellow Pacers to know? The last five months have been very difficult. The management of the group during the pandemic has challenged me tremendously. On a personal level my Fiance Debbie and I were scheduled to be married on August 8th, 2020. Unfortunately we had to postpone our ceremony till the summer of 2021. 

Speed Round

Longest distance: 26.2.

Average pace: 9:00.

Hometown: Azusa, California.

Family: My father Miguel and my beautiful fiance Debbie.

Occupation: Property Management.

Horoscope: Taurus.

Running mantra: Go out and enjoy it.

Gina Leon, Vice President

Gina has served as a Pace Leader (for seems like forever) and also the LA Marathon Team Captain for the past two years.  She always has a big smile, even after a long training run or at mile 20 of a marathon, and usually has a crowd of runners following her.

How long have you been with the Pasadena Pacers: Since 2015.

Why did you join our amazing club? I was new to the area and was looking for folks to run with.

Why do you run? Running is my happy hour! When I run alone it can be peaceful and a stress reliever. When I run with friends it’s all about the fun!

What makes you want to do long runs? It’s a great stress reliever and there is such a sense of accomplishment when you’re done. A “Yeah I did it!” moment. 

Favorite post run snack/ meal? Any kind of breakfast food.

What do you do for fun? I love to read, watch movies, and take our two boxer pups out for a run.

Do you have a secret talent? I’m fluent in movie quotes and I can tie my shoes with one hand.

What do you think is the best thing about the Pacers? The Pacers are truly all inclusive. Every background, shape and size are represented with the Pacers and all are welcome. And you don’t even have to be a runner, we love our walkers!

Anything else you’d like your fellow Pacers to know?  You really can do it! You will get tired and your body will hurt, but you can get through it and you won’t have to do it alone. You have a running family in red and we’re in it together.

Speed Round

Longest distance: 26.2

Average pace: 11:30

Hometown: I grew up in Pico Rivera and now live in Pasadena.

Family: Eldest of 3 siblings, Boyfriend at home and mom to 2 Boxer pups.

Occupation: Customer Service for Honda.

Horoscope: Virgo… you’ve been warned!

Running mantra: Small bites! I break down long runs into small bites of five miles (or less) at a time. It makes the mileage less intimidating.