This Miamian is changing minds about Overtown, one runner at a time

Omar “Ramo” Nelson thinks that running can break down Miami’s barriers.

The neuroscientist and cancer biologist, avid runner, and father of three (with one on the way) became hooked on running in 2010 after his first corporate run. The rest is history. This whole month he has woken up at 4 a.m. every day to run 13 miles for 24 days straight (just for fun). Last month he ran 29 miles on MapMyRun to create a LuluLemon logo and the following week he biked 45 miles to make a Turkey icon for Thanksgiving. You’ll often see him sprinting by while pushing his daughter in a stroller (yes, he’s still faster than most of us). Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct Nelson’s occupation. 

Nelson also co-founded the One Love Run, a monthly run through Overtown. The group runs are all about getting Miamians from other parts of the city to venture into the troubled, underserved neighborhood and forge some understanding between communities.

One Love Run used the October run as a platform to raise awareness for breast cancer. In November, they passed out medals to anyone in the community who would race across the finish line as participants cheered them on. On Dec. 18, the One Love Run group plans to donate gifts to children through the community, wrapped and labeled with a G or B for girl or boy (details here). Editor’s note: The date of a previous run has been corrected.

He’s a member of multiple run clubs (catch him pacing iRun on Monday nights) and a staple of the community. If you’re training for a race and looking for a running group, Nelson says he “can run at any pace.” You just gotta wake up early enough to catch him.

For the best view of the photos, click on the first photo to enlarge and then flip through the rest.