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Thanks to our friends at Diadora, a lucky few of our San Juan Fit2Run Fit Experts will be traveling to Philadelphia to run the Philly 10K this August! While all our Fit Experts love running, they don’t all have the same running experience going into this race. Some run for speed and prefer shorter distances like 5K races, some have run countless races including many marathons, and some have recently started to run on a daily basis since joining the Fit2Run team. However they come into this particular race, it will be a unique experience for all. Whether this will be their first 10K ever, their first time visiting Philadelphia or the first time traveling outside of Puerto Rico for any race, they are super excited to be a part of the Philly 10K with Diadora. Keep reading to meet the lucky Fit Experts and find out how they are each preparing to run a 10K!


Sean Gonzales, the new runner, is a former basketball player who turned to running when he found himself without the option of playing the contact sport due to the pandemic. Looking for a new way to stay active he tied up some running shoes and went for a short run, which not only went well but he enjoyed more than expected! Now an avid runner he loves to run 5K distance but is looking forward to getting into some longer races starting with the Philly 10K which will be Sean’s first ever 10K race and first visit to Philadelphia. 

Hooked on the feeling of a good race Sean has big expectations for himself and is looking to break his personal time, but he admits his main goal is to have fun. Training for this race, he has learned that having a specific goal in mind helps fuel his motivation and makes it easier to get through tougher workouts. He stated that the most surprising lesson through this was “having good socks for running is much more important than you think” and finding proper shoes for different workouts is key. Currently rotating between Cloudstratus for easy pace runs, Puma Deviate Nitro for tempo or long runs and his Nike Vaporfly for speedy days Sean is already feeling good for race day. Learning a lot about running and himself  in the last year since he’s started running, his biggest lesson and best advice for any runner is “ just have fun with it! if you’re having fun, it doesn’t feel like work or training, you’re just enjoying yourself while becoming a better athlete.”


Yarilis Rosado Ortiz, a true motivational runner began running in 2016 to support her mother who was starting a healthier lifestyle journey recommended by a doctor. Now running on a regular basis Yarilis loves to start her day with a morning run as it gives her an energetic start and helps her overall productivity during the day. On any given morning you can find her running with her husband, and favorite running partner, who help each other stay motivated on and off the run. Thanks to Diadora, Yarilis is most excited as this is her favorite distance to run and this will be her first race outside of Puerto Rico. 

Aiming towards her personal best time, Yarilis is preparing for this race by running 5 days a week alternating shorter and longer runs on road, treadmill, and track. For longer runs she prefers a less cushioned running shoes such as Saucony Endorphin Speed 2 and PUMA Deviate Nitro, for shorter runs she likes the comfort of extra cushioning in shoes like Saucony Guide 15 or Diadora Atomo. While training for this race she has learned the importance of hydrating days leading up to a race or long run, not just the day before a race, to make sure your body is in top shape on race day. A piece of advice she uses to stay motivated and would share with any runner, is “enjoy every mile you run ALWAYS, because you will never be able to repeat this exact moment again.”


Matthew Marques, has run 20 marathons to date with two more coming just this year and many more to come in the future it’s no wonder Matt is known as our Marathon Runner. Beginning his running journey in high school when he joined the track and field team, he’s come a long way in running, now running his “Easy 10” miles on a regular basis just for the fun of it. When you don’t see Matt running himself, you can find him supporting the running community in some way, from finding the perfect fit running shoes to setting up local water stations to cheering them on in the sidelines.

This race falls in the midst of Matt’s training for his next marathon, the Chicago Marathon 2022. He plans to go into it with racing strategies in mind as he will be using it as a “practice” towards the fall marathon. For this training cycle so far Matt has relied on some great cushioned shoes for his runs, the ON Cloudstratus and the Diadora Mythos Vigore when needing some extra support on tired feet. Looking for some speed on race day he plans to run with the ON Cloudboom Echo to get that extra spring with the help of the Carbon Fiber plate within. Aside from the race itself Matt is looking forward to once again conquering the “Rocky Steps” in the city as it’s such an iconic moment in the film and running worlds.


Madelline Lazo, stumbled upon running when looking for a sport to participate in high school and found a great fit in short distance running. Since joining the Fit2Run team she has welcomed the challenge of running longer distances. Excited to explore a new city and looking forward to meeting new people with the same passions keeps her running almost every day to get ready for the Philly 10K.

Guiding her through the preparation of her first 10K race is the training plan by Garmin, which Madelline has found to be her new favorite training tool. She has also noted significant improvement in her breathing as well as cadence and running pace by following the training techniques suggested in this race specific training plan. Keeping her stable through her training is her Diadora Mythos Vigore shoes which she especially loves for the great stability and lightweight cushioning they provide allowing her to go the extra distance without any knee pain. On days she is in need of a little extra pep to get through a tough workout she reminds herself “to take it one step at a time, or one stride at a time. You’ll be able to improve as long as you stay consistent and never give up on yourself!”


Jehu Betancourt, the team speed runner, has loved the feeling of speed and competition since his earliest running memory of winning a friendly race in middle school. That feeling has stayed with him through the 20 plus years he has been running. While Jehu is no stranger to 10K races as he has run in more than 70 of them, this will be his first one outside of Puerto Rico and with his need for speed always present he is hoping to complete the races in an amazing 34-35 minutes.  

For Jehu comfort is key for any and every run therefore he varies his running gear every time he heads out for a run in order to find the perfect fit for ultimate race day performance. He has recently discovered the great breathability of Janji and ON apparel, which he especially appreciates on double workout days. With speed always on his mind you are sure to find a variety of speed shoes in his collection of running shoes, including Nike Vaporfly Next % 2Saucony Endorphin PRO and Speed, as well as Asics Novablast 2 to name just a few. Jehu’s favorite tip to share with runners is “to think of our running on race day as a progressive process, start running steadily building your way up to the finish line and give it your all at the last stretch of the race”. 


John Devine, Fit2Run shoe buyer and runner of 45 years is our go to guy for almost any running questions. Starting his running journey as part of his high school wrestling training, John found joy in the run and has never stopped since. Participating in hundreds of running races and over 100 races in the 10K distances alone, John is going into the Philly 10K with plenty of experience. Unique to this race, John is most excited to be able to share time and the run with some of the Fit2Run and Diadora team and enjoy the great city of Philadelphia. 

It may not come as much of a surprise that through the years John has tested out a variety of running gear and shoes, and learned that there is a perfect shoe fit for different runs and every runner. The one thing he can say is true to share with each and every runner is to remember “go easy and just enjoy it” especially during the more challenging parts of a run. In preparation for this particular race John is alternating his gear between DiadoraNikeBrooks models depending on the daily exercise. On race day you can find him with the Atomo by Diadora running shoes which he particularly enjoys for the fit, cushion and look of the Italian made running shoe, as well as an energy drink in hand to give him the energy boost for the miles ahead.


Karen Marques could not always say she loved running and actually started running as a way to work through some difficult times. When she found that it not only helped through tough times but learned of the many health benefits of running she decided to commit to giving it a real try and signed up for her first 5K. Though she was scared, this was a goal for her at the time. Later joining the Fit2Run team where she got inspired to really go for it in running and has since then participated in so many races of varying distances that she lost track of the exact number. The personal running achievements she is most proud of are completing two marathons, and her 2019 personal running challenge where she completed a half marathon every month of the year. She loves the half-marathon distance the most as she finds it to be challenging enough to push her to work hard but not as exhausting as training for a full marathon can be. 

Going into the Philly 10K Karen is very excited to be immersed in the environment of a busy city, meeting a new running community and visiting the Diadora US headquarters. Taking a more casual approach to the preparation of this race Karen is focusing on maintaining running consistency with shorter distance runs to make sure she feels good on race day. Depending on her run route she currently alternates between Saucony Kinvara 12Asics Magic Speed and Diadora Atomo for when she needs a bit more cushion for her runs. When asked what her best race day advice would be, she states there are two main things that help her enjoy every race “first of all start the race easy, don’t let the adrenaline get the best of you, make sure to save some energy for the finish. Secondly, smile extra throughout the race, not only will it help keep your mood elevated, you never know when a race photographer might appear during the route.” 


Keep up with Team Fit2Run journey for this race and all running happenings by following us on social media @fit2run_therunnerssuperstore  

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