Run Grouper of the Week: Ben “Santo Loco” Fiallos

You ran the Octoberfest 5K this past weekend, How did it go? What made you decide to run this this race?

It went very good. I beat my last 5K race time and did it in 24:14 . I am a big fan of Oktoberfest and I enjoy the German beers especially the Köstritzer . And I had plenty of it celebrating my run time … The weather was great day for a race..

How long have you been running and how did you come to find yourself at the LRC?

Been running since June of 2012 . I had a enlarged spleen removal surgery back in December 2011 and after recovery while walking with my wife I was feeling the energy and encouragement of running and it picked up from there at age 46.

A good old friend of mine Denece who is also LRC run grouper been wanting me to try out the group runs .. Glad I did , it’s fun running with the LRC group and meeting new people ..

How many hundred dollar bills have you seen this week? 

I’ve seen too many !!! I work at the Federal Reserve Bank in cash dept.. The new 100 dollar bills came out and I been dealing with them sending them out to the commercial banks… So if you get a hold of a new 100 dollar bill , I might have something to do with it.

Can you tell us a little about your nickname “Santo Loco” and your elaborate collection of masks?

It was a name given to me from old friends who I watched pro wrestling with along time ago.. It’s Spanish for “Crazy Saint” . I’m a fan of Lucha Libre (Mexican Pro Wrestling) and I have a collection of Lucha masks from great stars such as El Santo , Blue Demon , Psychosis and plenty more… I wear them for certain events like Running with the NOLA Bulls , Saint football games and other fun events…

Are you originally from Louisiana?

YES ,Born and raised in New Orleans . Mother from Cuba and father from Nicaragua. So I grew up with good Spanish and New Orleans food..

What is your favorite part of the New Orleans running community?

We just have so many places to run in our city . Uptown , Downtown , French Quarter, the major parks, etc… and all the races we have , wish I had the time to do them all… I also enjoy being a member of NOTC because of the Summer Series events..

Do you have a favorite local race?

Jackson Day race from January 2013.. It was a rainy and very cold day… But I did not let that stop me , this made me know this is my new way of life of being a runner now…

There is word on the street that the LRC is going to have a costumed run group the week of Halloween, can you give us a sneak peak of what “Santo Loco” will be sporting?

It will be a wrestling mask , but don’t know which one yet .. I sure won’t be wearing a hotdog costume … lol.

What is the farthest you have run? raced? and do you have any tips for someone who isn’t a runner looking to take the plunge?

Farthest I have run is 12 miles.. Don’t want to go any more cause I’m training for my first half marathon in December “Ole Man River.” I want to make it special and try to do it a little under 2 hours. Tip I tell people is ” don’t give up” … They see me and what I have been through and it encourages some of my family and friends.. Just have to tell your self “this is what I want for my body , to be healthy, to be strong, and to keep going”  …

Thanks Ben!