Carlos Renjifo was born and raised in Puerto Rico, but he moved around while his Mom was in the Army, living in Texas for a couple of years and in Germany for ten years. His Mom was his running inspiration. He used to get up before sunrise to ride his bike along with her as part of her Physical Training. He started running at ten years old, and ran cross country and track for all four years of high school. He continued running in college, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), not only one of the top academic universities in the United States, but also home to one of the stronger NCAA Division III cross country and track programs.
In 2005, with both Bachelors and Graduate degrees in Electrical Engineering from MIT, Carlos took a job at Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, here in Howard County, and he continues to work there today. Shortly after moving to Columbia, Carlos was rollerblading around Oakland Mills and came across a race where he met Phil and Vicki Lang, who invited him to a Saturday morning “bagel run.” The rest is history. Carlos was the Striders’ top individual runner for most of the last eight to nine years. His “PR” times are impressive to say the least: 4:20 for the mile; 15:04 for 5K; 25:50 for 5 miles; 31:14 for 10K; 51:43 for 10 miles; 1:09:20 for the half marathon; and 2:36:28 for the marathon.
He’s not only been on many successful Striders’ teams, but he’s typically been the team’s top finisher as well. He led teams to multiple victories in the RRCA Challenge Race; the Cherry Blossom 10 Miler; the Broad Street 10 Mile; and the Baltimore Marathon Relay. Individually, among races Carlos has won are the Penguin Pace 5K (three times); Clyde’s 10K (twice); Run Through the Grapevine (twice); the Police Pace 5K; the Celtic Solstice 5 Mile; and Helsinki City Run in 2010.
Carlos has also done his share of volunteering for the Striders. He helped establish the Striders/Feet First Racing Team in 2006 and has been the team director ever since. He has also served on the Board of Directors since 2007. Carlos created the HCS Development Team in 2011 and has been a Junior Striders’ coach several seasons. Additionally, Carlos’ Dad is from Colombia in South America; Carlos speaks Spanish, German and English; and he figures he’s run about 40,000 miles to date, with a target of at least 100,000 miles. Carlos is married to Issel (ee-sil) and they have a daughter, Floralei (flora-lay).