Meet Antonio Romano

I met Antonio while I was working in the run industry in Michigan. During this time I visited a lot of running stores and went to many race expos where I met a lot of people. Antonio was a stand out personality. He is one of the most welcoming people I know. He works hard to be the best runner he can be, and is generous in helping others get comfortable in the sport. Antonio and his wife have 3 children, all girls.

Antonio and family

Antonio and family

I recognized Antonio had stand out character qualities that I highly value. When I needed someone to RD the Hennepin Hundred 50 mile finish line- I asked Antonio and was so happy when he said yes! He managed the Hennepin 50 mile finish line for the first time in 2018 and he did an amazing job. He is very excited for 2019 race day!

Antonio truly cares about the sport and the community. I am extremely grateful to have Antonio on the Ornery Mule Racing team! We also want to give a big shout out to Complete Runner in Flint, Michigan. Super Awesome running store that Antonio works at. The owner Brad Brown is also one of the kindest people you can ever meet. If you are ever in the area, be sure to stop by and give them a visit!

~Michele Hartwig, owner/founder of Ornery Mule Racing

Here is the DIRT on Antonio:

Age: 31

Hometown: Waterford, Michigan

Where are you from: Lapeer, Michigan. Lived in Michigan my entire life, no better place to live than the “Great Lakes State”!

Family: 3 Daughters, Isabella 6, Stella 4, and Anna (ahhhhhna) 1 year old. Married 9 years to Emily

Occupation and how many years at job? Sales associate at “The” Complete Runner!! 6 months and loving it every day!

When and why did you start trail running? My first trail run was my first year running. It was fall in Michigan an I shot up North to Traverse City to run the Vasa. It was only a 10k race but it totally kicked my ass, I tried running it like it was a road race and had a rude awakening. Took a couple more attempts at trail running for me to really fall in love with it!

Antonio running with Christina and Anita, both of these ladies are Hennepin Hundred mile finishers.

Antonio running with Christina and Anita, both of these ladies are Hennepin Hundred mile finishers.

What is your favorite distance to run? Hard question, I really enjoy running half marathons. However I’ve really fell in love with timed races, I like signing up for the largest time slot and just trying to get the most miles I can in a relaxed pace. No stress just chill and enjoy what I’m doing. I think when you start worrying about pace vs distance it can really make running unadventurous.

What race accomplishment are you most proud of? A couple year ago I ran a very small trail race in Fontana Dam, North Carolina. I was first overall for the entire race. Totally kicked my ass and had to hang back with people that knew their way until I found the trail back. I was super excited to be wearing a Flint, Michigan singlet and to of won the race!

What, for you, is the best part about volunteering at trail races? Honestly the best part for me is watching the participants accomplish their goals. It was so badass watching everyone cross the finish at Hennepin 50 Mile an I was the first person to give them their medal and congratulate them. Made me wanna be out there with them.

What have you learned from trail running? Geez, I learned that antichafe is your best friend, everyone loves everyone on the trail. People are just a bunch of friendly people, it’s so relaxed and that pace is everything. Slow and steady will keep you upright longer than burning rubber the first couple miles/hours of the race.

Antonio trimmed up the famous beard for this run!

Antonio trimmed up the famous beard for this run!

What advice would you give someone considering getting into trail running or racing?

I would suggest looking for a time based race rather than a distance. With setting out for a 50k or 50 miler you have the pressure of having to complete it verse when you sign up for a 4, 8, 12 hour race. With those timed races you just have to worry about making it one more loop or one more hour and you don’t have the pressure of getting a certain distance, you can do whatever you’re comfortable with and still feel like a winner.

Do you have any goal/big trail races in 2019? My race schedule is pretty badass this year, I headed to Vegas to run a Half Marathon in Red Rock, never been further than galena Illinois so that was pretty exciting, super fun and challenging for me, I have a 24 hour, 3 mile looped course that I’m super pumped about, my goal there is just make it to 100k. It’s about a week before Hennepin and two weeks before Chicago so I’m hoping to not be too beat up for that! Then I’m ending with Indianapolis monumental marathon to try for a marathon PR!

What is your favorite pre-race meal? Founders All Day IPA, actually any beer. Calms me down and makes me go to sleep so I get a good nights rest, plus it taste so damn good!

What is your guilty pleasure meal? I freaking love pizza, I’m trying to manage where I get my carbs from so I’ve been cutting that out of my diet but it’s so hard being Italian and not to eat pizza!

Tell us a little about yourself that we did not ask:

Running has been such a great thing in my life, so many times where thing seem upside down an ass backwards running helps correct it. I’ve honestly fell in and out of love with so many passions in life and the one constant has been running. My real goal in life is to make a splash in the running community, I wanna make the difference. I want people to wake up and turn on a podcast or hear a story and relate to the things I’m going through and the things I experienced during running and through life. I think we can all learn and grow from each other but that’s what I want. I’m just someone who wants his voice to touch people and make them love running like I do!

Michele Hartwig