Gabriel Ortega

Born and raised in Los Angeles, Gabriel was introduced to running while in high school. Running began as part of the annual fitness exam for him but grew to be something he became passionate about. With an eye on military service after high school, Gabriel began running more to prepare for the demands of life in the United States Marine Corps. After 5 years of active duty and deployments to Kuwait and Iraq, Gabriel returned home to Los Angeles to attend college and raise a daughter. Gabriel learned the importance of community from the friendships forged during his time in service. Back home, he found his place in the Los Angeles running community and has developed friendships, activism, and a passion for fitness as a vehicle for personal growth in the company of the individuals in the running community. 


What is your passion and why? 

I am passionate about health and fitness for myself and my community. I often see people affected by illness and injuries that could be prevented with proper exercise and nutrition. I would like to be someone that has the knowledge and resources to help others live a happier and healthier life. 

Has your reason for running/living an active lifestyle changed over the years? If so, what is it now? 

For a long time my reason for running and living an active lifestyle was solely for my own personal health. Over time as I've become more involved in my community, my reason has shifted towards leading an active lifestyle so that I can inspire others to see what their potential is. I firmly believe in leading by example, therefore I try to always be a good example to others. 

Besides running, what other hobbies/activities do you like doing? 

My heart will always belong to running but I also enjoy weight training, functional fitness, swimming, bike riding and hiking. When I'm not participating in physical activities, I love exploring the city for places to eat and drinking craft beers.

Advice to your younger self: 

Learning is a lifetime skill set. Seek out and surround yourself with people that help motivate and educate you.