This Runner Will Brighten Up Your Running Routine

Need a boost of motivation? Want to start running, but not sure where to start? Californa-based runner and triathlete Omar Posadas  will show you how to brighten up your running routine.

Run alone or run with the crowd? You'll find joy in both places

There are a lot of runners in the world. So many that, at certain times of the day and year, it seems like the:

  • Sidewalks
  • Street, and...
  • Trails...

...are saturated with more runners than anyone else. 

And while most runners wouldn’t hesitate to say that they love seeing the joys and rewards of this sport spread to new corners of the population, it’s also easy to feel like just another face in the crowd. 

Finding a way to make a unique mark on the running world might be just as challenging as the actual training.

On the other hand, that sense of community and slogging it out in partnership with others — from close friends to complete strangers — offers a reason to run in and of itself. 

  • The individual nature of running means that you can go your whole running life on your own without ever joining forces with a single soul. 
  • There’s no critical need for a team, club, or partnership in the way that other sports inherently demand it. 

For that reason, runners find themselves feeling alone in the crowd, surrounded but disconnected.

But one runner is on a mission to show you how to brighten up your running routine...

Meet Napa-Valley runner Omar Posadas

Omar Stanley Posadas has found the elusive middle ground between fading into the background and standing out like a sore thumb. 

He’s come to his place as a leader in the running community...

  • without estranging others or putting himself on a pedestal
  • inspiring but approachable
  • remarkable but relatable
  • ambitious but realistic. 

Omar is the kind of runner who simultaneously holds his own and isn’t afraid to be everyone’s most enthusiastic cheerleader. 

The accidental running routine...

Omar’s a relatively new runner, but pulls from a long history in weightlifting and triathlon. 

Training as a triathlete is how running first snuck up on Omar. 

“Running was always my strength even if I didn’t know it at the time,” reflects Omar. “I was such a crappy swimmer, but I would make it up on the bike and on foot. Running came the most naturally.”

—Omar Stanley Posadas ,

So in May of 2020, right as COVID came head-to-head with cultural upheavals like BLM and Me Too, on top of an intimidating career change for Omar, he did what felt like the most natural way to find some relief: go on a run. 

Go for a run to 'escape'

Omar might have intended to use running as nothing more than an occasional opportunity for release, but the habit helped him so much that he gave into the power of the run and let it begin to fill holes that he’d hardly noticed before.

“At first I was just running to escape,” Omar admits, “and then I really started to enjoy it in and of itself.”

He appreciated the way running pulled him out of his head and into his environment, leading him through places best explored on foot and helping him raise the ceiling on his potential. 

“It’s my way of living now,” explains Omar. “It challenges me in ways that other things just don’t. It humbles me and it keeps challenging me.” 

The combination of Omar’s passion for running and his bold individuality makes him a natural leader in the running community.

You’ll know Omar when you see him: 

  • bright colors
  • short shorts
  • loud patterned socks
  • oversized reflective sunglasses, and...
  • a gigantic grin to round out the vibe. 

He’s not hard to spot, and that’s part of his MO. 

Change up your running routine with bright colors

“I love bright colors,” Omar exclaims. 

“I started doing it for safety around here in Napa… drivers get distracted, colors get their attention. Now it’s become my personality as a runner too. My clothes are like my armor; I get to express myself and feel stronger.”

So when Omar began posting his runs on social media as a way to hold himself accountable to the big goals that running inspired him to set, other runners flocked to his contagious charisma.

He initially launched his online presence for his own sake.

Motivation is very tied to emotion,” Omar has noticed, “but emotion ebbs and flows. You need drive to follow through when motivation isn’t enough. I needed to tell someone what my goals were so that they could hold me to it. I started posting my running and my goals online for that reason, and it works.” 

Omar Runs...with 17.5K Instagram followers

What started as a helpful tool turned into something much more powerful. 

Pretty soon, Omar realized that he had the capacity to create the kind of environment that had propelled him forward in other sports. 

“In my weight training days, I had friends and peers at the gym that I could talk to,” Omar remembers. 

“We would meet for workouts, spot each other, and share our plans. I had that in triathlon too. It inspired me to create this running community.” 

Inspire other runners

This way, the fruits of his search for ongoing inspiration could keep someone else from having to search at all; they could find support in him and his following from the get-go. 

  • Today, he leads a community of runners 17.5k strong (and counting). 
  • His page @omar.runs.napa gives him a platform to share his nuggets of running knowledge as he picks them up in real time, and both celebrate and commiserate with other runners all along the spectrum of experience in the sport. 

Unique and common running connections

“I’ve had a very diverse range of runners join me on here,” Omar says with a laugh. “I’ve connected with people who on the surface don’t seem to be anything like me...

  • women
  • twenty-somethings
  • masters runners
  • trail runners… 

Turns out we’re not all that different. We all feel the same pain even when we have different goals.”

It's not always about running fast or far...

Omar’s main agenda on his page is to bring that pain to light, so that runners can both acknowledge the struggle and find pride in the work.  He:

  • pokes fun at running stereotypes
  • doles out advice he learned the hard way when all he wanted to do was run fast and far without a plan
  • reveals the reality behind the glamour of the social media scene, and...
  • points out his own quirks to help others understand that running doesn’t have a look or a limit. 

“At 43, I’m an ‘older’ runner,” Omar admits. “I’m shorter, I’m more muscular, I don’t have years and years of experience." 

"I’m still pretty new to running, and I do still feel like an imposter sometimes. But if we start highlighting different stories and paths to running, we can learn that there’s no right or wrong answer to how to be a runner.”

Run with the pack

Omar presents his perspective from right in the thick of things. 

  • He doesn’t tower above his followers like the captain leading his crew.
  • He’s part of the crew himself. 
  • Omar doesn’t claim to know better than anyone else. 
  • That’s what makes him so captivating and motivating, though: he’s working through the weeds just like the rest of us. 
  • Professional runners are plenty inspiring, but they train on an entirely different plane with running at the heart of everything. 

Instead, Omar’s part of the pack.

He makes it possible to believe that running — and running well — really can fit into all sorts of lifestyles and suit people of all backgrounds. 

He helps fellow runners choose joy first and foremost, so that accomplishment can follow close behind without the pressure of being the focal point. 

“I don’t care if someone is objectively fast,” Omar declares. 

  • “Are they happy?"
  • "Are they meeting their goals?"
  • "Are they doing what they want?"
  • "That’s what matters, that’s what actually takes you places.” 

No one embodies this sentiment better than Omar, who’s only getting faster, stronger, and more resilient as time goes on.

And if the rest of us catch onto his energy, neon getup and all, I think we’ll find ourselves much further along than we’d get otherwise.

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Lucie Hanes
Eagle, CO
8 Following

Ultrarunner, rock climber, occasional artist, fond of good wordplay. Small human on big adventures with big goals and big fee...


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