Marathon News

Running to save my life

by Web Developer | Mar 25, 2014

As I continue to look for ways to exercise to stay fit, a marathon maybe too far in the distance, however, a half marathon maybe my ticket to setting a realistic goal. The City of McAllen will be conducting its’ first marathon called McAllen Marathon on Sunday, December 15, 2013 at 7 a.m. at De Leon Soccer Complex at Buddy Owens and 34th Street to replace the city’s past event International Friendship Run. As the Communications Director for the City of McAllen, I will be volunteering to assist in coordinating the run. I’m not an avid runner or even like to say I like to run. I run because I have to for health reasons. However, I am working on this event and learning as much about running as possible. I promise you, “I will not be responsible for counting the miles or providing water at the water stations.” I will stay close to what I do best and provide good accurate information to the runners, spectators, and community.

In the last two years, I recently lost more than 60 pounds to be healthy. I had been a diabetic with high blood pressure and high cholesterol for the past seven years. My diabetes was controlled by medication. My diabetes specialist Dr. Marcel Twahirwa recommended I lose 30 pounds to control my diabetes by eating healthier and exercise. He placed me on a high protein diet to lose weight. It took me only three months to lose 30 pounds and reach my goal. The surprising thing to me is that it also controlled my high blood pressure and high cholesterol because I changed my lifestyle. I continue to work on staying fit today. It is a struggle and in no way easier than losing the weight. But, I still can see the fat unhealthy man I had become because I had refused to help myself. I credit my doctor for believing in me and my fitness trainer Carlos Valdez for pushing me when I didn’t want to work out. The only thing I now laugh about is that I still need to lose 30 more pounds. It’s not for aesthetics but, I have a fatty liver that I can only skinny by losing 30 pounds. Those ever elusive 30 pounds that I am trying to lose by doing more running. So, I started running on treadmill and elliptical machines at the gym about six to eight miles a day. As for my health, I am healthier than some of my doctors because my exam results are better.

So, as I continue to help in the McAllen Marathon, I get inspired to see the healthier conscious side of people who love to run. For the McAllen Marathon, we have been meeting with organizers to review maps, create logos and website/social media sites (facebook: McAllen-Marathon and Twitter: McAllenMarathon) for the event. The course is a flat and fast course through McAllen neighborhoods. We are hoping to highlight some of the best McAllen has to offer. We encourage participation by the community and visitors alike to our city. Runners and spectators are encouraged to dress up in colorful family friendly costumes to support the runners and provide a great environment for the whole family. I hope to learn more about running because I have my own fitness goal of losing 30 pounds. I just like running in the gym at a room controlled environment. For the record, I do like 5K’s. I respect every runner for what they do. I would just rather cross out one more item in my bucket list like jumping off a plane instead of running in a marathon.

We would like to hear from you too. Please provide us your feedback on running/fitness/health that we may share with our readers/runners on this site. If the information is pertinent you could be reading your thoughts on our blog. Please provide your contact information. We will edit copy when appropriate and have the right to refuse any submission if it does not meet the standards of the City of McAllen.

By Roy Cantu/City of McAllen Public Information Office Director/amateur runner