Gerald Romero is like a real-life Benjamin Button. He’s been a runner since high school, but at 47, he looks a good deal younger.
If you ask him, he will tell you that his outlook on life has a lot to do with that.
“I know not everyone believes this,” he says, “But I believe your thoughts can heal you. You can manifest the positive things you want in your life by projecting that intention out into the world. You attract what you think, whether it’s positive or negative so you have to be careful and really be mindful of your thoughts.”
This has proven effective in Gerald’s professional, personal, and athletic pursuits. Last year, he revamped his diet and dropped carbs like white flour, potatoes, and sugar and focuses now on lean protein and vegetables. A runner for three decades, he knows a lot about training and has been studying the habits and workouts of running greats for years.
“I’ve learned so much from my coaches and from self-study,” said Gerald. “I wish I knew then what I knew now, but luckily, I’m still running and can apply new methodologies to my training.”
He admits that aging comes into play whether we want it to or not, but he stays on top of it by stretching, doing plyometrics, and foam rolling. It also helps that his wife, Kari Taylor-Romero, is a nurse practitioner in addition to being a two-time XTERRA Colorado Trail Run Regional Champ.
“It’s wonderful to have a spouse and partner who loves the sport as much as me,” said Romero. “Because of Kari I’ve gotten to travel the country. We train together on easy days and support each other.”
This year the couple will cap off their year of travel with a trip to the XTERRA Trail Run World Championship on Oahu on December 2nd, where Romero hopes that the tweaks he made to his diet and workout schedule will prove as successful in Hawaii as they have been in Colorado.
In 2017, Romero did the XTERRA Marathon of Trail Races and finished 16th. This year he finished second overall by less than a second. In between those two bookend races, Romero was third overall and won his age group at XTERRA Golden Gate Canyon, he won his age group at XTERRA Beaver Creek (8th overall), XTERRA Golden Gate Canyon (3rd overall) and was second in his division at XTERRA Castle Rock. In his first go at the XTERRA Pan Am Championship in Utah this year, he was 13th overall and second in his age group just behind the speedy Andy Lee.
“I love competing,” said Romero. “I’ve had that competitive spirit since high school when my mom signed me up for the cross-country team without me knowing it."
Romero soon discovered he was a natural and continued racing in college and on the road running circuit. However, as a Colorado native, the trails are in Romero’s blood.
“You can’t take the trails out of me,” he said. “I love the trails. My birthplace is Pueblo and I have wonderful trails in my backyard. I fell in love with them. You're out there and you’re free and that’s why I love XTERRA."