Guest Post: Why do you run?

We will have guest posts throughout July, August, and September from Joel Ramos, a fellow Wichitan who is running for the cause! Get to know him and cheer him on as he trains for the Race for Freedom 5k! You can also ask questions and learn from his training. We hope you enjoy as you train! ~Race for Freedom Team


Let’s start with the basics. My name is Joel Ramos. I’ve been married for 4 years to my bride, Amber. We have 2 great kids, Armando (3) and Izabel (8 mo.). I am originally from Greeley, CO and moved to Wichita in 1998. Am a graduate of Wichita South, Butler Community College, and Friends University.

I’ve always been a ‘bigger’ guy. In high school I weighed between 280-300 pounds. Even though I was big, I still was in pretty good shape. I played sports, both in school and recreationally. Weight was not a problem then. College turned me into a lazy slob and in a matter of 3 years, I gained almost 100 pounds! I’ve maintained at my heavy weight for several years, basically telling myself that everything was fine. I finally opened my eyes this year to the fact that I was basically killing myself, so I decided then and there to make a change.

I started working out, thinking it was just like riding a bike, right? WRONG! I struggled and wanted to give up. I tried several things, but got bored with them easily. One day I decided I’d go for a walk on the track. That walked turned in to a jog and I haven’t looked back since! I’m down almost 40 pounds, and am consistently running/walking 2-3 miles. I love the looks on people’s faces when they see a 350+ pound guy running either at the gym or in my neighborhood! I used to be nervous about it, but I say ‘Look all you want!’

I decided that a great goal for me would be to run a 5k (my first one ever!) and the Race for Freedom was the perfect choice. The money goes to great organizations to help prevent human trafficking, something I think most people don’t even know exists, much less, think it is a problem. I’d like to thank the Race for Freedom for allowing me to share my running progress up to the race; any helpful tips from readers would surely be appreciated. I’ll try to update on a weekly basis, good or bad. I also have a personal blog with a bit more about myself and my challenge to live a healthier lifestyle. You can find that at

Have a great week everyone, happy running!