Runner Spotlight: Monica Bobadilla

At Run Malibu we are passionate about celebrating the everyday superheroes out there who make this world a better place because of their beliefs and values. Today we want to honor Monica Bobadilla.



Monica’s journey with running started 10 years ago. As many of us do, she approached running with the hope of improving both her mental and physical health.

“One day, I just got out of the door and kept walking. I did that for a few days, and then I started adding some running. I was slow and I took a lot of walk breaks, but that worked for me.” Monica recalls. She hasn’t stopped ever since.

“Life is not always easy but, like with running, we keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. It’s the best!”.

As a single mother, she has always felt she needed to be a strong role model for her daughter, and that her choices and actions needed to set an example. At the same time she has learned from her daughter just as much. “I worried that leaving her father would affect her negatively. But she was a very happy child, always smiling. I learned to do the same. Smile and keep moving forward.” she says.


“Life is not always easy but, like with running, we keep putting one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward. It’s the best!” she added.


8 years ago, when she got injured and she saw that every runner feared the words “No running for you until this gets better”, she knew she had to find a way to put this new positive mindset to practice. So, she found a way to still help the running community while she recovered from her injury, and took on the role of President of the Whittier Pacers.


What she loves the most about her role as President of the Whittier Pacers is making people smile, building community, lifting each other’s spirits, supporting and cheering one another on, and supporting people taking on new challenges.


“It’s beautiful. I’m grateful for every experience I’ve had as President of the Whittier Pacers.


Although it has had its challenges, it has made me stronger as a person so I can be a better leader for the club. That keeps me smiling and moving forward. Best of all, my daughter has seen me through every step of this journey.” Monica said proudly.



We asked her what running meant to her. “Running is life. No better way to put it. It benefits our health, it boosts our confidence, it’s a stress reliever, it’s a challenge we set for ourselves and work toward accomplishing. Running with others is even more beneficial. We automatically push harder. We’re held accountable and more importantly, we build bonds and friendships with our buddies and encourage one another, and all of that is amazing for our mental health and our spirits. Running is the best.”


So what's her secret to staying motivated? “There are definitely days that motivation is simply nonexistent. But, I normally find it in knowing that what I’m set out to do will make at least one person happy, and that makes me happy.” she shares.


“I enjoy what I do and knowing that I have friends and family that support me and believe in me and my intentions, is a great motivator. My agenda with the running club is to help at least one person every week. Whether they need the push to challenge themselves, or they need guidance while training for their first 5K, or simply a hug (Yes, I’m a hugger). Sometimes it is just providing the space for people to find a community of like minded individuals. There’s a story every week that satisfies this intention, and I can’t explain how rewarding that is”, she added.

“Your Race, Your Pace. Running is not about how fast you are, or how far you go. It’s about how you grow both personally and physically. Whatever you do, take it as an opportunity for GROWTH.”

When asked how she combines having a full time job, being a single parent, being the president of a running club and life in general, she just laughed because she often gets asked this question, and her answer is always the same, “I don’t know how I do it. I have a full time job; I spend a lot of time with my daughter; I spend time with family and friends; I do my best to be active at least 3 times per week; I run a running club, and I volunteer at some races. How do I balance everything? I don’t know. But I believe that doing everything from the heart makes it all worthwhile and it magically just works out in the end.”


She ended up sharing a few personal tips:


➡️ “First, make yourself a priority. We tend to fill our schedule with “things to do” but often miss time for ourselves. It’s a healthy and necessary practice. Fill your spirit so you can uplift others’ spirits.”


➡️ “Secondly: Your Race, Your Pace. Running is not about how fast you are, or how far you go. It’s about how you grow both personally and physically. Whatever you do, take it as an opportunity for GROWTH.”


➡️ “Lastly, believe in yourself. The most important aspect we need to focus on to reach any goal, is our mindset. Believe you can, and you’ll find a way to do what you need to do to achieve it. And don’t forget to SMILE! It’s our most attractive trait.”


We love you Monica, keep up your incredible work! 💜


Register BEFORE WE SELL OUT!

Join the Whittier Pacers for the 14th Annual Malibu Half Marathon, 5K & 1/2K Kids’ Run. When you cross that finish line at Zuma Beach and hear the cheers from thousands of fellow runners and walkers, you’ll be glad you signed up!

👉 REGISTER NOW

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