Ramirez (far right #397) was part of the 2019 cross country team that qualified for the NCAA Championships. (Courtesy of Amanda Loman)

CPP runner gets familiar with new tracks

By Rachel Ly; May 4, 2021

Marcelo E. Ramirez, a senior distance runner for CPP’s track and field team, has outrun the challenges of canceled competition and used the break from play to continue exercising his love of running and guitar.

Although track and field was the first team sport eligible to return to CPP for in-person training, Ramirez decided to sit it out.

Aside from his imminent graduation in May, spending time away from competition and official training on campus brought about a different view of the sport for Ramirez.

Ramirez, 397, was part of the 2019 cross country team that qualified for the NCAA Championships. (Courtesy of Amanda Loman)

“When I was physically on the team, there was a lot of pressure not to disappoint my coaches and exceed their standards. I wanted to be impressive and show my potential,” said Ramirez. “During this pandemic, I felt happier running because I was doing it for myself. When I run for a team, it feels repetitive. I felt like I was doing it for the team, to win and to complete a season. I now get to do this purely for my happiness.”

After transferring from Glendale Community College to study psychology, Ramirez ran as a Bronco for two months before virtual learning went into full effect. He ran competitively since his freshman year of high school to his first year at CPP.

Ramirez’s passion for running started during physical education in middle school at Santa Rosa Charter Academy while living in Highland Park. Whenever he ran the mile for class, he challenged himself to beat his previous time.

“The idea of challenging my physical and mental state made me want to get involved in track and cross country,” he said.

As a psychology student and student-athlete for the track and field team, Ramirez still finds time to work on his guitar-playing skills. (Courtesy of Marcelo E. Ramirez)

Although Ramirez has not competed with the team for more than a year, he continues to train for his own leisure.

“I run to stay consistently fit and for my overall mental wellness. It keeps me feeling emotionally good and confident,” said Ramirez. “I love running hills, mountains and anything involving inclines.”

Currently residing in the Los Angeles area, the San Gabriel Mountains by the Rose Bowl in Pasadena is his new favorite place to run.

Recently, Ramirez found himself gravitating towards playing music he listens to. Music is a major part of his life, listening to it when he runs and when he does his daily tasks. He bought his first acoustic guitar at a local music shop in Highland Park. He practices daily, learning new chords and working on transitions.

“Sometimes we say things that we want to do, but we don’t actually do it. It’s cool that I actually did it,” he said.

As budding musician, Ramirez draws inspiration from bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd. (Courtesy of Marcelo E. Ramirez)

Inspired by 70’s classic rock bands like Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd, Ramirez has already learned to play some of his favorite songs and is determined to improve.

“I’ve always been into music and wanted to play the guitar,” said Ramirez. “I watch these old music videos where these amazing musicians were entertaining crowds with intense melodies; it left an influence on me.”

At the moment, Ramirez is pursuing music as a personal journey but is open to the idea of performing for an audience one day.

“Playing the guitar is a different feeling from running. I feel like I’m in a different head space and my creativity flows,” he said.

Eventually, Ramirez wants to be able to write his own music and fully engage in his passion for the instrument.

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