SAN ANTONIO – Running can be a powerful sport. In ‘New Week. New You.’ we’ve seen it help people lose weight and even overcome addiction. For Anabel Morales and her family, it’s a way to keep her family strong.
“If you stick together as a family, you encourage each other health health wise, the possibilities are endless,” Morales said.
Morales was a runner in school but didn’t pick up the pace until about ten years ago when she asked her father, Joe Ramirez to join her in a 5k. Ramirez had never run or even been very active until then. So his eventual success in the sport came as a surprise. Together the father-daughter duo has gone on to complete 18 marathons, including the Boston marathon.
Their passion for running slowly but surely inspired Morales’ son, Nathaniel Zapata.
“Whenever he (Ramirez) started running, that just changed the whole game. I saw how much work he’s putting into it... The marathon is a painful game and for him to have that kind of mental strength and body strength to push himself, I just like, wow, like he’s probably my top role model of all time,” Zapata explained.
Between early morning wake up calls and longs hours traveling to events, Nathaniel was reluctant to run at first but tapped into his potential in middle school, became one of the best at his high school and earned himself a scholarship to run at Southern Arkansas University.
The trio says it’s the shared interest that keeps their family so tight knit. According to Morales, they’ve even inspired most of their extended family to get moving as well.