Meet Ron “Padre” Mora, a 5-year Texas Beef Team member from Austin. He’s a triathlete and ultra-runner who has been competing in sports for more than 46 years and plans to keep the streak going. That’s a long stretch, by any accounts, but he shares that the motivation to stay fit and active is easy for him. “Sports has always been a defining aspect of who I am,” says Padre. “It’s a lifestyle, it’s part of my routine and what drives me. Yeah, somedays are hard, but I can’t see myself NOT being active.”
Padre caught the running bug at age 15 when his family transferred to Germany during his junior year of high school. “At the new student orientation, the cross-country coach gave me a glance and said I’d be a good runner,” chuckles Padre. “Of course, he was just trying to recruit for the team, but I decided it would be a smart way to become involved at a new school in a new place.”
Over the years, Padre has moved up in distances and challenges, going from the 5K to a 100K. After conquering the 26.2-mile marathon distance and knocking out a couple Boston Marathon finishes, at age 34, he decided to mix it up and hit the trails. It seemed much more natural to Padre to be ‘at one with the universe’ on a trail in nature rather than on asphalt dodging cars. “I felt I was revisiting my cross country roots, but this time tackling longer distances,” says Padre, “and in 1994, I quickly became hooked on this relatively new sport called ‘ultra-running.”
Most friends and acquaintances today know Padre as an accomplished triathlete. He’s finished 12 full Ironman events and 15 Ironman 70.3 events over the last 12 years. How his triathlon journey started, he shares, is ‘complicated’. Prior to getting into triathlon, Padre’s training buddies had all been put on notice to put him out of his misery and assume he’d ‘lost his marbles,’ if he ever did a swim before biking or running. “But at age 49, I met someone (the complicated part) and was motivated to take it all up,” says Padre. “I found joy in a sport I never thought I would participate in and my competitive fire was relit.”
As a more seasoned athlete, Padre is a role model who inspires, motivates and leads by example to show others that you are never ‘too old’ to try something new or set your sights higher. “Although I have been active for more than 45 years, it doesn’t mean I have reached all my potential,” he shares. “I started triathlon at almost age 50 and am still improving in the sport today.”
When Padre isn’t training, he finds great comfort in cooking. His foundation of impressive cooking skills and creative flair in the kitchen came from watching and working side-by-side with his mom and grandmother who both always cooked from scratch. Padre fondly recalls these times spent preparing and enjoying meals together and says that these stand as some of his best memories ever. “The kitchen table is where we’d always hang out,” he says. “And, today, because of those skills and memories, I would guesstimate that I make 98% of my meals today from scratch.”
Read on to learn more about this talented athlete we are honored to have on the team.
Three Things You Probably Don’t Know: 1) My left leg is shorter than right leg; 2) When I was younger, I was fluent in English, Spanish, German, and Japanese; and 3) During high school in Germany, I was the ½ liter beer chug champion.
Two Cuts of Beef I Eat Most: Ribeye and Skirt Steak.
Favorite Beef Recipe: I’d say beef stew. I have special family memories of winter dinners when my mom would make a beef stew and today it still remains one of my comfort meals.
What I’ve Learned: I obtained a much better understanding of the various grades of meat. I now use this information every time I shop for beef.
Beef In My Training Diet: As an endurance athlete, quality protein is extremely important. I try to have at least four meals a week that include beef, and particularly look forward to a “steak reward” night after a weekend of long workouts. My long workout weekends are those when I cover five to seven hours of training within two days, and quality refueling becomes imperative.
Favorite Beef Team Memories: Honestly, some of the best memories are being with the team at the aid stations. I love the smiles from team members running by when I yell “Go Beef,” and on the flip side, I always get a smile when I hear a “Go Beef,” being cheered at me. It’s so great to be part of such a supportive and encouraging team.
Favorite Races: The 3M Half Marathon is a favorite because it is local and not too long. I’ve also really enjoyed the Dos Senderos 100K Trail Run, running around Pace Bend park for hours
Race Updates: I just competed at IM70.3 Worlds held in St. George, Utah. It was truly motivating to realize that I was competing against the best 70.3 Ironman athletes in the world. The cold swim and cold weather made for a difficult day. Though it wasn’t my best performance, I was honored to be in the field and happy to complete another 70.3.
Fitness Injuries: In September 2019 while on a training ride with a friend, I crashed and fractured my femur. To be honest, getting back into training was never a question. As I’ve said, being an athlete is really a lifestyle for me. I just dedicated myself to the rehab as much as I would for training for a race. Be smart, be patient, be focused.
Training Groups: These days I mostly train alone since my race schedule rarely meshes with others. I do have a small group of teammates that I meet up with at least once a week for tempo runs. If we have races around the same time frame, we will also meet for rides. When I had Irish Setters dogs, they were great running buddies.
- 5K: 20:45, 2010
- 10K: 35:00, 1993
- 10 Mile: 1:02:26, 1992
- Half Marathon: 1:31:30, 2003 3M
- Marathon: 2:48, 1993 Houston Marathon
- 50K: 4:29:07, 2000
- 100K: 15:53:15, 2021
- IM70.3: 4:30:16, 2018 Waco 70.3
- IM: 11:30:44, 2018 IM Arizona
It Would be Cool to Run With: I would have loved to get a few miles in with Steve Prefontaine. He had a drive to compete that inspires me.
Pre-Run Meal: Oatmeal
Running Advice: We are all experiments of one. Find what works for you.
Favorite Gear: Asics DS Trainer and my Argon 18 bike.
Running Music: Honestly, I started running before the advent of portable music, so I don’t listen to music while running. My favorite sound while running is the sound of my steps as I run along the trails in the green belt.