Sometimes we never know how life’s twists and turns will lead us to something that changes our lives. This certainly happened to Clinton Munkres — a new marathon runner residing in Lincoln, CA. Clinton wasn’t always a marathon runner. He became one through hard work and perseverance. In joining in a weight loss journey with his wife, Clinton discovered running, overcame type 2 diabetes, and (just recently) accomplished an incredible feat — going from 20+ years of living a sedentary lifestyle to becoming a couch-to-5K participant to finishing his first full marathon about a month ago.
Read more about Clinton’s running story below.
Tell us a little about yourself. How did you get into running? I got into running to lose some weight and be healthier. At my highest weight, I weighed 280 pounds. After getting married a little late in life (after 40), my wife and I still wanted to have children. So, we went through an IVF/embryo adoption program. To meet certain qualifications for the program, my wife had to get to a certain body-mass index (BMI). We embarked on the weight-loss journey together and have both lost over 90 pounds each. Running, along with eating right, played a huge role.
What races have you run in the past?
I started about a year ago, running my first 5K at age 44. It was the Jingle Bell Rock’n Run 10K/5K in Folsom, CA. I ran my first half marathon last April 2013, which was the Running of the Elk Half Marathon in Elk Grove, CA. Other races include the Presidents Day 5K/10K, Run to Feed the Hungry 10K, and the Buffalo Stampede & George Parrott Migration 10-Mile Run/Walk. Top all that off, I just completed my first full marathon last month. I did the California International Marathon in Sacramento. I didn’t quite hit my goal due to a nasty blister about half way through, but I managed to finish under 5 hours.
Do you have any future race goals? If so, what are they? My goal is to run a full marathon. Although I “ran” in the California International Marathon, I kind of had to walk/run the last 12 miles. So, the goal is to run start to finish in the future. I would really like to do the Big Sur International Marathon or the Surfer’s Path Marathon & Capitola Half Marathon. My goal is to finish in under 4 hours and 30 minutes.
What was your favorite race and why? I would say the Running of the Elk Half Marathon. It was long enough to teach me some important lessons. Everything from port-a-potty breaks to hydration at longer distances were a new concept.
Funniest race experience? The California International Marathon had some great people cheering the runners along. The guy dressed as Jesus around the 24-mile mark with a sign saying, ‘The end is near!’ was pretty hilarious.
Any advice for someone who thinks they could never run a marathon? The advice I would give is that they simply can run a marathon. Realistically, If I can do it, anyone can. I read somewhere that ‘you have to do more than want to do it, you have to be willing to put in the work’. That’s kind of my credo.
What’s your favorite running gear? So far, my favorite running gear are my yurbuds headphones. They really stay in the ear while I run. Although, I must say that I am growing rather fond of my new Nation HPL #020 hydration backpack. I just got it a few weeks, before the marathon, and it works great. It has some handy pockets to store my phone and fuel.
And, on your feet? The Saucony Guide. I hate to pay full price so I swoop up older versions when I can — at half the cost. I have two pairs of the Guide 5 and one of the Guide 6. I overpronate mildly and they seem to work best. I like the 8mm heel-to-toe drop as well. If I go higher, it affects my IT band a lot.
What motivates you when you don’t feel like training? I remember that keeping fit has helped me overcome type 2 diabetes, totally managed with diet and exercise. I don’t want to go back to being pill-dependent.
If you could run any race, anywhere in the world, what would it be? I would love to run the Virgin Money London Marathon. That is where I went on my honeymoon and I have become quite fond of the city. It would be an easy sell to my wife too.
Anything else you would like to share with the Gametiime community? On the subject of living a healthy lifestyle, just get out there and do something. I was a couch potato for 20 – 25 years and running got me out the door. I started with a couch-to-5K program and now I am training for marathons in about a year. And, I weigh what I did in high school. Even if it’s not running, find something you like to do that is active.
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