Sunday, August 7, 2016

The Olympians We Know, Rio 2016

The summer Olympis are here and I we would like to wish Good Luck to the Olympians we know.

Lea Davison, In The Arena and L.L Bean Athlete
Mountain Biker and Community Mentor 
Jericho, VT

2012 Olympian 
US National Champion 

Lea will be competing on August 20th. 

In The Arena Alumna Sarah Groff True 
4th Place at the 2012 Olympics
Sarah will be competing on August 20th 

Jurgen Themen
2008, 2012 Olympian
2x World Championship Participant
100m Surinamese National Record Holder 10.48
Track & Field Men's 100m 
Jurgen will be competing on August 13th

Sunayna Wahi
Track & Field Men's 100m 
Sunayna will be competing on August 12th
From Suriname

They talked about it, they dreamed of it.. On the meantime, they made sure to make the best of their given opportunity. They focused on the task at hand, moved to Alamosa, committed to run for Adams State. Since 2013 they strived to be the best with a dream in the back of their  mind, making the #olympic team together. Jurgen and Sunayna are extraordinary students and citizens. From time to time they have  volunteered their time in our @inthearena_team programs in #Alamosa.  The #InTheArena crew in Alamosa will be cheering on Sunayna Wahi and Jurgen Themen at this summer Olympics in Rio as they will proudly represent they country #Suriname. Congrats!  Lo hablaron, lo soñaron. Mientras sucedía se aseguraron de aprovechar toda oportunidad, se enfocaron en las obligaciones de ese momento, se mudaron a Alamosa y comprometieron a correr para Adams State. Desde el 2013, trabajaron para ser mejores estudiantes, atletas y personas siempre con ese sueño en su subconsciente, ir a la Olimpiada juntos. Sunayna y Jurgen son dos  estudiantes y personas extraordinarias. De vez en cuando han servido de manera voluntaria en los programas de #InTheArena aquí en Alamosa. El grupo de In The Arena estará apoyando a Sunayna y Jurgen en las Olimpiadas de este Verano en Río cuando ambos estén representando orgullosamente a su país, Suriname. Felicidades!!!! #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow #hazalgohoyimpactamañana
A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

Matylda Kowal
3000m Steeplechaser from Poland
Matylda will be competing on August 12th
Matylda's favorite high altitude training venue is Alamosa. She enjoys visiting our after school programs when she is in town. 

Other athletes that from time to time we shared the same training venues during their training days in Alamosa.

Brenda Martinez
1500m Track and Field
World Championships Bronze Medalist
Brenda will be competing on August 12th

Boris Berian 
World Indoor Champion
800m Track and Field 
Boris will be competing on August 12th

The very best to the Olympians we know!

Our  @inthearena_team youth, mentors, friends, parents and volunteers from Immigrant Resource Center  were elated to be able to express their #love #support #admiration and #gratitude  to (@nini_sur) Sunayna and Jurgen.  We will be cheering loud and sound for you and your beloved country #Suriname. We are in awe not only by your athletic accomplishments-"You are  Olympians!" but also your academic and civic ones. Run with heart! Nuestros niños,  mentores,  amigos, padres de familia y voluntarios del Centro de Recursos para el Inmigrante nos sentimos felices  de poder expresar nuestro #cariño, #apoyo, #admiración  y #gratitud a Sunayna  y Jurgen. Estaremos  apoyándo a  ustedes y su querido país de Suriname. Admirados no sólo de sus logros atleticos-"Son Olímpicos!" pero  académicos y civicos también. Corran de Corazón #Rio2016 #SummerOlympics Note:  Sunayna and Jurgen have  volunteered  at our #InTheArena  events since they  arrived to Adams State in 2013. Ellos han hecho servicio comunitario en varios programas de #EnLaArena desde que llegaron a la Universidad de Adams State.  #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow #HazAlgoHoyImpactaMañana #caracter #character #community #comunidad
A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

Sunday, July 24, 2016


Upon my return from California and with the 4th of July a few hours away all  that could think on my way back home was how bless I was to have the freedom to do what I love. I was excited to meet up with my kids and start our summer running program, but before that, we had an event to attend, the 4th of July Parade in Alamosa.

Even tough the number of attendees was lower than previous years, that fact made me happy. "Really?" you migh ask.. Yes, having less kids participating at the 4th of July parade meant only one thing, either our kids were on vacation or left early to go camping or hiking with their family.  It was nice to have another group of kids ready to rise to the occasion and so they did. 

Our appearance at the parade was neat. This year we carried flags and gave out candy. Then once we run out of candy we offered young spectators to join us for a short race, about  60m. 

By the time we approached the end of the parade we ended up running a total of 6 races where kids from the crowd did not hesitate when we all asked 
"Who  wants to race with us?" 


The whole experience was wonderful as it gave us an opportunity to celebrate with the rest of the community such special occasion: Independence Day.

This year we were so fortunate to have Carmille Garcia come and capture through the lens of her camara some great moments. To see the entire album click HERE.

                   After the parade we took the kids to Milagro's Cafe for a smoothie and some social time.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Sea Level Training Camp II

Training camp at sea level this past month was exciting and adventurous. Enjoyed meeting with high school teammates and sharing our Cross Country experience with the XC team. Seeing my teammates from junior college and sharing with their kids was wonderful. I also had the opportunity to stop at Santa Ana College and share my experience and run with the Cross Country team.
Here a recap of my 3 weeks at sea level through my instagram pictures.

Time with my nieces and new nephew.

Having my Junior College Coach, David Fier ride with us during a tempo run with former Orange Coast College and Adams State teammate was fun.

Then, I had a chance to share with my sister Lizbeth's network of support. A grest feeling to have a chance to thank them for their love and support toward my ister Liz.

One of my main training venues..

Former teammate, Tiffanie Cordova and I sharing our high school exprience at Coasta Mesa High.

Then a 10 mile run and a visit to Santa Ana College with  the Cross Coutry team.

Thankful for the 10 mile run on the Santa Ana River Trail with an enthusiastic group of runners who like me have the privilege to run and make the best of their given talent. During our run I saw lots of life, hope, dreams, aspiration. I saw a group of young athletes who want to not only make the difference, but be the difference in their families, team and communities. The more we join in the movement the better! Welcome to the @inthearena_team Santa Ana Junior College XC team. The very best in your journey!  Agradecida  por el entreno de 16km en el sendero del Río Santa Ana con un grupo de corredores entusiastas quien como yo tienen el privilegio de correr y hacer lo mejor de su talento. Durante el recorrido vi mucha vida, esperanza, sueños, aspiraciones, motivacion, energía. Vi a un grupo que decea ser y hacer la diferencia en su familia, equipo y comunidad. Entre mas seamos mejor. Bienvenidos a @inthearena_team equipo de Campo Traviesa de Santa Ana. Lo mejor en su travesía! #seasonafterseason #makesomethingtodayimpacttomorrow #thewaylifeshouldbe  #temporadatrastemporada #hazalgohoyimpactamañana #ComolaVidaDeberiaSer
A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

So nice to share paths with my brother and Coach Fier

It felt like we never left. All of us ended up graduating from college. So awesome!

A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

Sunday, June 12, 2016


This summer is a little different, new and exciting. I am back in Southern California for some sea level training. I will be here for the month of June. The beauty of it is that besides getting to train with more oxygen, faster paces, this camp gives me the opportunity to reconnect to the past, to my early beginnings. It is wonderful to drive around the streets that welcomed me into this country, pound on the paths I ran over and over again before transferring to Adams. Its been a week since I arrived and each day has been very special.

Last weekend upon arrival I spent the night with one of my best friends. We had the opportunity to catch up and visit. She also  got to see what its like for me  to prepare and execute a race. I ran the Fontana 5km where I ended up in a very close 2nd place against an athlete I raced in College and former Team USA teammate at  the 2007 World Championships, Mary Akor. Our competitive drive took over and we both ended up running fearless and nailed fast times 16:30 and 16:31. The whole experience was very special as my former junior college Coach, Dave Fier, was there waiting at the finish line just like in the old days. It felt just like when he used to bring us to this race 18 years ago. Im very grateful to have this opportunity. What a way to celebrate this amazing journey. Now, I feel each training and  competition is a celebration of what the body has been able to help  accomplish through the years, the endless memories and the friendships along the way.

Looking back there is nothing I would change. Each experience gave me the tools to tackle life and I can only envision myself looking back 20 years from now feeling the same way. Happy for the choices I made, the friendships I kept, the paths I ran.

This weekend I entered a local 10km road race in Long Beach. When I was heading to the starting line I came across one of my high school teammates, Julie - The conection was instant, we hugged and agreed to meet afterwards so that I could meet her children and visit more with her and her dad who was goint to be there to walk his first 5km after a recent stroke. Mr.Hitt was the man who in very kind words explained to me a smarter way to compete before the startr of CIF Finals in 1998 where I ended up finishing a close 2nd.

I want to run competitively, give good marks without forgetting what the sport has given me. I'm with Julie Feld, today was a great day. Being able to hug her, hug them Walt Hitt, to tell them in person the impact they made in my life was wonderful. I wish for more unexpected reunions like this...

"Today is a great day. Dad finished his first 5K since his stroke in April. It was awesome! And to make a great day even better, we had the pleasure of watching Zoila Gomez win the 10K. It was a wonderful unexpected reunion with my high school teammate!" Julie Feld

Then the story did not end there.. 
The fearless Sharon.. We would leave everything on the field during our Junior College days. So glad to see her again!

"So I thought I was having Santa Ana college days flashbacks while running 10k today. Chasing 1st place female, her running style was all too familiar...and then it turns out it was indeed Zoila! She was the reason I usually took 2nd when running against OCC back in the days. So good to see you my friend. Great racing memories with you! Some things never change" Sharon Moreno 

The beauty of having a lot of brothers and sisters is that when you are  by them on your birthday, one will always come to the rescue and make your birthday one to remmember. A blast sharing part of my day with my sister Lizbeth and my nieces, Mariana,  Litzy and Daniela.. I did it all today. Starting with a great workout at the #orangecoastcollege track,  a nice cool down at #CostaMesaHS followed by a surprised small pool party, nap and sunset with hot chocolate and donuts at the beach was more than I could ask to celebrate one more year of life. Thankful for the past, greatful for the present and hopeful for the future.. Thank God for life.. I'm the sibling #14 and my twin sister Tayde was our #15.. Happiest of Birthdays to Us!  La belleza de tener muchos hermanos y hermanas es que cuando estas cerca de ellos, uno siempre saldrá al rescate y hará todo por hacer que tu día sea uno para recordar. Una pasada compartir con mi hermana Lizbeth este cumpleaños y con mis sobrinas, Mariana, Litzy y Daniela. Hoy lo he hecho todo. Un excelente entreno en la pista del colegio comunitario #Orange Coast, enfriamiento en la preparatoria de Costa Mesa seguida de una fiesta sorpresa en la alberca, la siesta, la puesta del sol en la playa con el chocolate caliente y la dona fue más de lo que puedes pedir para celebrar un año más de vida. Agradecida con el pasado, gratitud para el presente y esperanza para el futuro. Gracias a Dios por la vida. Soy la hermana numero 14 y mi gemela Tayde fue la número 15.. El mas feliz de los Cumpleaños a ambas!!!
A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

What a way to celebrate this amazing journey called life. Now, I feel each training and  competition is a celebration of what the body has been able to help  accomplish through the years, the endless memories and the friendships along the way.. A huge family reunion indeed..

Wednesday, June 1, 2016


Many asked me, "Who are you here for?" "Im here for our Youth, I answered" 

The spring mile fun run at the Alamosa Emelentary is an event the kids, teachers and entire community look up to every year. Personally, this is an event that hits home. This day I devoted my morning time to the event and soon after, its a tradition I invite my nephews out for lunch. This year was Alan's last mile fun run as he will be moving on to middle school. The good news is that the new generation of In The Arena members will keep us coming back to the event for many years to come. My day started with the parents 2 mile fun run. This is my second year participating at the parents fun run.. This fun run gives me the opportunity to show my kids and parents how I run. I enjoy hearing the kids cheer us on along the sidewalk. Many kids get very serious and want to see you win. Others enjoy the fact that you can slow down and give them a high five. This year I was outkicked by a male parent, bad strategy on my end. I learned a distance runner girl like me should not wait for the kick, so next year, I am ready to open a huge gap so that I dont give anybody a chance.. Needless to say, it was wonderful to visit with kids after the race and tell them all about my tactic mistakes and the other good things about competing. All of them seemed to understand and appreciate my efforts by reminding me that next time I would win. A blast!

After the parents race I stayed to cheer on the rest of the races while I got inspired by their free spirit and determination. The following a few pictures and  segments of the races I was able to caught on Camera. So proud of these Mini Moose!
Best friends thanks to a missing shoe.. You might remember him :)
Lupita, so proud of her always giving her best. Her strrenght is second to none
Andres, ran most of the race. Huge accomplishment. So prpud of my Andres
Jessica H and her friends always smiling and working together, Teamwork!
This kid makes my heart smile like no other.Alan ran his best race ever. Im a proud auntie, 
Jessica T ran with many of her friends, pacing them and making sure all of them had a good experience. She is our leader.
Carlos and Angel~ Friendships that last. 
Catie very proud to sport her L.L. Bean jacket. 


A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

A video posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

Se, Sueña y Cree!
Be, Dream, Believe!

Sunday, May 15, 2016


Before the Lodz marathon in Poland. I have already ran a handful of marathons since my debut in New York in 2005 where I had experience the unexpected. Just to name a few: Running alone in New York 2005 Tight shoes in Twin Cities 2006 (I almost strangled my poor foot) Hot and humid conditions Osaka, 2007 (No shade to be found) Wind, rain and cold temperatures in Boston 2007 (Dressed like it was summer) Olympic Trials 2008 (Blisters at mile 22) World Championships in Berlin 2009 (Blisters at mile 13) Running with a broken rib at Olympic Trials in 2012 Massive hills in Sand Diego at the Rock n Roll in 2015 The day had arrived, the training was done. It was time to check if I could put into practice the lessons learned from my previous experiences. One thing I notice was that the level of excitement was quite thesame from my previous experiences.
I take pride on my water bottles. I prepared them with lots of excitement thinking that on the way I will find a kid that will adopt them and keep them as a souvenir or for their next show and tell in their classroom. I started this tradition back in Osaka 2007. My signature, butterflies.
Then I leave with the most inspiring quote that I nailed soon after the gum went off..
Well, all these experience came in handy at my serious attempt back at the marathon in Lodz last April. The conditions were less than ideal on race day. It was 68F and 90% humidity at the start. At 10km I was 5 minutes behind the leaders and in 11th place. By the time I reached the finished line I was 4th fully aware of what had just happened in the past 2:41:1 seconds. I had just ran the smartest and most strategic marathon of my life. The marathon and I were friends again. I learned that yes, its is possible to enjoy such distance and in the process to learn from yourself.

Closing another chapter to start a new one.. 4th @marathon_lodz in warm and humid conditions. Experience and patience paid off as I was able to move from 8th place at 10km to a 4th place to the end with a 2:41:13. The plan was to run for time, but quickly I knew this was going to be a race for place. Happy I kept the momentum going. Enjoyed each stride. Thank you to all of those who made this experience one to remmember from my Coach to training partners to friends, family, those who gave me a "Bravo!" during the race, organizers and of course @inthearena_team and @llbean. Cerrando otro capítulo para abrir uno nuevo.. 4ta en el Maratón de Lodz en condiciones calientes y humedas. La experiencia y la paciencia dieron sus frutos ya que puede pasar de octava al 10km a 4ta al final con un tiempo de 2:41:12.. El plan era correr por un mejor tiempo, pero pronto supe que esta carrera seria por lugar. Feliz que mantuve el momentus. Disfrute cada paso..Gracias a todos por hacer de esta experiencia una para recordar desde mi entrenador hasta mis compañeras de entreno, amigos, familia.. Aquellos que me regalaron un "Bravo!" en el camino, los organizadores y claro a @inthearena_team y @llbean #HowWeBean @lodzpl

A photo posted by Zoila Gomez (@zoilagomezita) on

Always an honor to step on a starting line and represent In The Arena and L.L Bean