A Year After Inspiring People Post Hurricane Maria, Ramos Returns to NYC With Renewed Energy

 
NYCM17_EH_0507.jpg
 

In 2017, two-time Olympian Beverly Ramos had been training in Puerto Rico for the TCS New York City Marathon when the effects of Hurricane Maria devastated the island.

In the aftermath of the storm, Ramos’ home was without running water and power, and her cellphone service was sporadic. She was determined to continue training, for herself, her community, and her fans. Knowing if she stayed on the island, this would be the hardest training—physically and emotionally—that she has ever done, Ramos committed to continuing her marathon preparation there, believing it would be an inspiration to many.

She found cleared roadways, ran with a headlamp when necessary, and changed her training hours. She dealt with sickness, lack of sleep, and limited food options. Though under much stress, Ramos continually reminded herself to try to do the best that she could. As she regained essential services, she began sharing photos of her training among the hurricane’s devastation, writing “Puerto Rico se levanta” in her posts, which means ‘Puerto Rico rises.’

 
Bronx18_AH_080.jpg
 

An Unexpected Journey

The journey to the TCS New York City Marathon start line was unexpectedly difficult for Ramos, but one that had miles of meaning.

“It was all about bravery and facing reality,” Ramos said. “Sometimes, you just wanted to get out and be in a perfect place to train, but for me it was about learning to handle the situation.”

She proved to be resilient, finishing in 26th place among all women—faster than 21,065 other women who took to the course that day.

The electricity in her Puerto Rican home was restored six weeks after the marathon, and she’s returning to the start line with renewed energy for 2018.

Fresh off breaking the event-record at the New Balance Bronx 10 Mile in September with a winning time of 55:15, Ramos was recently announced as the new Rising New York Road Runners Ambassador and Special Advisor to Puerto Rico. Ramos, the most decorated track & field athlete in Puerto Rican history who earned NCAA All-American honors twice while at Kansas State University, is an active mentor and coach to the young athletes of Puerto Rico. Ramos will help guide the program, which will provide free youth programming and resources to the children of Puerto Rico.

This year, once again, she’s racing for so much more than herself.