HOUSTON (FOX 26) - We all know it takes a lot of training to run a marathon, but there's often a life changing event that gives runners a reason and the motivation to do it.
Marcus Cook is running his second marathon in one week. We met up with him training at Memorial Park and he showed off a hand full of his 5K and triathlon race medals which sound like beautiful wind chimes as they clank together in the gusts of wind. But these chimes are even more special when you consider Cook’s journey.
We introduced you to this running man in September 2016, the one year anniversary of his gastric bypass surgery. He and his surgeon were headed to Miami to compete in a triathlon together. Now? “I use Jeff Galloway’s program. It is the run, walk method,” Cook explains as we stretch before starting our workout.
Cook ran his first marathon at Walt Disney World a week ago and is still training to run the Chevron Houston Marathon this weekend. “So now I'm running back to back marathons. A little over a year ago I was close to 500 pounds”. He has shed more than 250 pounds since September 2015.
“For the last five months I've been plant based. That means I'm just eating lentils, rice. I'm eating yams, sweet potatoes," Cook said.
Cook has wanted to run a marathon since he was 8 years old after his gym teacher did. “I can remember going home that weekend and I ran 100 times around the church property dreaming of running the Chevron Marathon. Now I am going to achieve my childhood dream that I never in a million years thought I would be doing,” smiles Cook.
At his heaviest, Cook was 489 pounds. “I had to have someone help me off the couch. I can remember going to a restaurant. I broke a chair.” He says his thoughts were often of dying an early death when he experienced chest pain or aches that came along with his heavy frame.
“I cheated death. Why have I been missing all this?" Cook said. "I became this guy who works out two hours a day, who runs all the time, who swims all the time, rides his bike all the time. I changed my identity of who I used to be. Now I’m this fit person.”
Cook says his kids, wife and even his mom are all now eating right, getting in shape and living a life they never thought they would. He hopes his story will encourage you to do the same. “I'm living life finally,” the 44-year-old says with a smile. You can follow Marcus Cook on Facebook @BigToLittle.