JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – If there’s anyone who knows how the body responds to running the Gate River Run, it’s Hossein “Page” Ramezani. Not only does Ramezani hold records at five ages at the Gate, but he also is a cardiologist at the Florida Heart Center.
Ramazani set age records at 66, 67, 68, 69, and 70 years old. Now 72, he’ll be trying to set another age record–the current mark was set in 1990. Ramezani says he didn’t realize he could be a good runner until a friend in his neighborhood convinced him to enter a race.
“‘I’m a cardiologist, I want to just do the casual runs,’I said. ‘No, you’re a really good runner, you have a gene for running. Go ahead, get in the race.’ Well, he signed me up for the Ortega River Run,” Ramezani said. “So we went there and I really am engaged. They run the race and low and behold, I won the race (in his age group). And I said, What? What’s going on here?”
When you visit his office in Orange Park, you can see how proud Ramezani is of his running accomplishments–medals, plaques, and photos of his Gate River Run history are everywhere. And he says, running has made him healthier–and a better person.
“Running basically revolutionized my life, it really did,” Ramezani said. “When I run...you kind of get into some kind of a cocoon of concentration. You start thinking about things. And then when you do, that is so awesome, because there is creativity, there is gratitude, there are all kinds of mental exercises that come to you and basically makes you a better individual. (It) makes you a better person.”
Unlike some with the running bug, Ramezani doesn’t travel outside of the Jacksonville area to run races–he says he prefers to be close to home in case his patients need him. And he also discourages runners from racing in marathons because of the potential danger to the heart and arteries. But a half marathon–or a 15K like the Gate River Run are A-okay with the Doctor. Especially when he’s setting records.
”I wasn’t really looking for like being the best runner, or beating the records and so forth,” Ramezani said. “I don’t see myself at the level of all these guys that run this race. I never felt that or thought that I’m going to be in this list. I take it as honor. I take it as a blessing. I really do.”