BY PAULINA TAM
Rego Park resident Luis Marcial began running after he was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2010, and the only time he stopped running was when he sustained a stress reaction to his femur seven weeks ago. The 34-year-old has since then restarted his running regimen in “hardcore” fashion, because he will be running in this year’s Foot Locker Five Borough Challenge at the TCS New York City Marathon in November as the Queens representative. He will be running the 26.2-mile marathon alongside challengers from the other four boroughs.
“I simply had two choices after I was diagnosed,” Marcial said. “One was swimming, but I can’t swim, and the other was running.”
Running daily has not only kept Marcial on a healthy track but has also surprised his doctor with his progress, a progress that the doctor calls a “reversal of his diagnosis.” He also has not been taking any medication for diabetes.
“For me, running the marathon is a job, but it’s all going to be smiles,” he said. “Yes, it is a challenge and yes, there’s the opportunity to win but first and foremost I am representing Queens. Competing is first and winning is second.”
The upcoming annual marathon is not the first grueling run he participated in, but it is one that holds great emotional significance because he said he will be running for his state, city and borough.
Marcial injured his iliotibial band, a ligament that extends from the side of the hip to just below the knee, during the 2013 Brooklyn Half Marathon but he had no option but to finish the race, he said.
“The iliotibial band was killing me and I can barely run after passing a certain mile, but there were 65-year-olds passing me so I had no excuse,” the Queens resident said. “I just kept pushing.”
The 34-year-old also had a car accident in 2012 due to sleep deprivation. He was doing rigorous physical training throughout the day and hit a car while driving back home at night. Two weeks later he was competing in the New York City Half Marathon with one thought running in his mind.
“I was here running,” he said. “I had absolutely nothing wrong with me after the accident, and I could have very well not have made it here.”
He writes about his experiences in running and Type 2 diabetes as well as other topics like nutrition and staying healthy on his blog, www.diabeater.wordpress.com. Ending each post are three words: Live, Love, Laugh — three things that Marcial said everybody needs in their life.
“Perspective plays a big role,” he added. “Standing from the outside everyone is going to say I can’t run a marathon because that’s insane, I have Type 2 diabetes and I should be taking medication. I think it’s more of having the will and knowing you can succeed anything if you just put your mind into it.”