Student brings passion for running to UB
It’s hard to find the motivation to start a workout routine without a consistent gym partner.
Cesar Carrion has found an entire fitness family since starting his journey last fall, when he was at his heaviest weight of 191 pounds.
Although this is his last semester at UB, Carrion, a senior psychology major, has decided to spread his “runners high” to the Buffalo community after running a total of 155 miles between May and September.
“I want to get people to have the same passion as me to eventually be able to run marathons in Buffalo,” Carrion said.
Running is a newfound hobby and passion for Carrion, although he played baseball while growing up in the Bronx in New York City.
“I was chubby for the most part and I used to hate running. I would be the guy that would get the power hits but I would never run,” Carrion said.
It wasn’t until last April on a trip to California that Carrion finally had the confidence to take his shirt off in public. He was so self-conscious of his appearance that he just kept his stomach hidden.
“I always had baby fat and never wanted to take my shirt off at the pool,” Carrion said.
Carrion said his ultimate goals are to run the Bronx 20-Mile and eventually the New York City (NYC) Marathon when he gets settled in his career in the health administration field.
In September, Carrion participated in UB’s 26th annual Linda Yalem Safety Run, a 5K run held on North Campus to promote personal safety and to remember Linda Yalem, a UB student who was raped and murdered while running on a bike path training for the NYC Marathon. Carrion was disappointed by his performance of 23.69 minutes and attributed it to the McDonald’s he ate the night before.
“I ran two minutes over my goal, but it still shows that I wasn’t able to that at all a year ago. My dedication and desire to be better made it happen,” Carrion said.
Through his fraternity Lambda Upsilon Lambda, Carrion has been able to stay active and motivated by participating in physical challenges with his brothers of various schools and ages.
This past July, 32 of his brothers used the Nike+ Running app to create a challenge by tracking how many miles they ran. Each person put up $40 and the one with the most miles at the end of month won all the money.
Carrion’s 42-year-old fraternity brother swiped the $1,280 with a running total of 120 miles in July.
“There was no challenge. I only ran about 67 miles that month,” Carrion said.
Around December of 2014, Joshua Mock, the older brother of one of Carrion’s fraternity brothers, started inviting his friends to run with his Nike running club, called We Run Uptown.
We Run Uptown is an urban running collective located in Washington Heights in New York City. According to its co-founder Mock, the collective started in the summer of 2013 when his friend Hector Espinal was going through heartbreak and wanted to lose weight.
Mock and Espinalstarted doing 5K races and wanted to spread the experience to the rest of their community, which consists mainly of Latinos and African Americans.
According to Mock, We Run Uptown meets every Monday at 8 p.m., no matter what the weather.
“One of my favorite things about running crews is the fact that they have a ‘no headphones’ policy,” Carrion said. “If you’re running you can’t have headphones on because the whole purpose is to motivate and get to know other people.”
This past summer, Carrion started branching out to run with different clubs in NYC and after talking to some of his older fraternity brothers, Carrion got the urge to create a running club in Buffalo.
“Cesar is one of the younger fraternity brothers but he’s progressed a lot since he started and I was blown away by the fact that he wanted to start a club at his school,” Mock said.
Between UB and Buffalo State’s campuses, the club has run about eight times since August. Carrion has found support for the club is significantly greater at Buffalo State.
Carrion’s younger brother Christian, also a member of Lambda Upsilon Lambda, was inspired to create a running collective on his University of Southern California campus.
“I went with Cesar twice on the runs in New York. That’s my brother so we’ve always had healthy competition with me being the youngest. He’s always been better but I’m getting up there,” Christian said.
Carrion plans on going to California to visit next week and Christian has asked him to lead the run when he goes.
“Many times when people run the fact that they have to run so many miles gets to them even if they’re not tired. That’s what I use as motivation because I don’t like give up,” Carrion said. “The pride that I have makes me want to finish so nobody can tell me I didn’t do it.”
Jessica Bain is a features staff writer. Features desk can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.