It started out as a simple plan to live a healthier life. Now, Ryan Romero (’17 BS Hospitality Management) is more than 1,000 miles into his quest to run 15 races — 10 full marathons and five half marathons — across the country this year.
This adventure began during his time as a student at UNLV. Romero spent his (limited) free time at the Student Recreation and Wellness Center, kickstarting his passion for an active lifestyle. In between studying for class, planning record-setting events (we're serious — Romero led a team to a Guinness World Record in 2016), and working with student organizations, he made time to take a few laps in the pool or join a yoga class.
After graduating from the Harrah College of Hospitality, he found a perfect fit with a job in the Office of Admissions. As an admissions counselor, Romero uses his experiences to show prospective students what it really means to be a Rebel.
"My passion for running helps me connect with prospective students in a way I wasn’t able to before. Sharing my experience inspires them to go out running and seek out different ways to become a Rebel."
Follow along on his journey on Instagram.
Wanting to live a healthier life was the driving force. After being diagnosed with HIV, I tried to show that I could still have a very active lifestyle. Along the way, I have been able to raise awareness and money for some excellent partner organizations. This helps me know that I’m running for something more substantial than myself.
The first one
My first marathon was originally not planned to be my first. My goal was to do the Las Vegas Rock ’n’ Roll Half Marathon in 2018 as my first big milestone. However, I ended up doing a small local half marathon the month before. The day before the Rock ‘n’ Roll event, I ended up signing up to do the full marathon. It was one of the scariest yet most exciting decisions I have ever made! Being able to run my first marathon in my backyard was so rewarding. The course went right by my condo, where my friends and roommates came out to support me.
I announced my plan to run 15 race locations this year on my birthday. A fellow student who is majoring in Fine Arts wrote all the locations I’m traveling to on the back of my leg along with the different hashtags and organizations. The pictures were taken by a student who has a passion for photography. UNLV helped a lot with beautiful scenery. It all came together as a masterpiece!
I have always wanted to travel, and seeing 26.2 miles of a location is a great way to take in the culture, history, and people of the city. Completing 15 races in a year will put me into the Rock ’n’ Roll Running Hall of Fame. Being able to reach this goal will hopefully inspire others to go out and achieve their goals.