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.
Nelson demonstrates his current project replicating DNA in cells as a research scientist in pharmacology at the MIller School of Medicine at UM.
Nelson in the front, left, with Darren Weissman, or Doctor Dribble, lead a running group as they complete a 29-mile course creating a Lulu Lemon logo on Map My Run. Nelson began the 29 mile course at 4 a.m. and completed it by 10:30 a.m. He also completed a 45 mile route in the shape of a turkey for Thanksgiving.
Omar Nelson explains the route to a group of runners for the monthly One Love Run in Overtown on Nov. 20, 2016. Nelson and a friend created the One Love Run two years ago. Each month the running group does something different.
Nelson prepares to start the running event afters a group photo by the Overtown graffiti sign on SW 20th Street near Wynwood.
Nelson and One Love Runners cheer as a participant crosses the finish line during the special edition run in Overtown on Nov. 20.
Omar Nelson and One Love Run participants cheer as a member of the neighborhood crosses the finish line on Nov. 20, 2016.
They passed out 100 medals to people throughout Wynwood and Overtown, donated by iRun Miami, on the Nov. 20 run. They were out there just having fun, but “I was asked if it was ‘National Be Kind Day,” Nelson said.
Nelson and One Love Run participants cheer as neighborhood kids race across the finish line on Nov. 20, 2016.
Next month One Love Run will be donating presents throughout Overtown. Anyone interested in joining can bring a gift labeled B or G for boy and girl.
Race medals decorate the entryway of Omar and Nicole Nelson’s Miami home. Omar began racing in 2010 with a finish time of 24.51 and has since logged thousands of miles and completed relay races, half-marathons and full-marathons.
Nelson, 35, plays with his 15-month-old daughter Kiera with son Jelani, 9, and wife Nicole, 30, at home on Nov. 25, 2016.