Madera’s T100 Challengers to tackle Two Cities

  • This was printed in October of 2014 in The Madera Tribune, a newspaper in Madera, California. This was the 76th installment of my weekly column, Mind Over Miles.

Several Madera runners will toe the starting line of the Two Cities Marathon & Half on

Sunday, and for a few it will be their first time running a full or half marathon – or any

race, for that matter.

“After a 12-mile run with Lupe (Delgado, a local fitness coach) I was bent over, grabbing

my quads, and I looked up at Lupe and said, ‘Who does this? This is not normal! Who

runs 12 miles?’ and she looked me right in the eyes and said, ‘You do,’” said Julian “BB”

Perez.

The 37-year-old Maderan said he skipped shorter runs like a 5K and a 10K and signed up

for the Fresno Half, a 13.1-mile race. Today marks his 85th day of Delgado’s Team 100

Challenge, a commitment to exercise for 30 minutes daily for 100 days. He has lost 10 to

15 pounds during the challenge, in addition to about 50 pounds lost since he vowed to be

more active in February 2012.

“At that time I felt uncomfortable,” said Perez, who was about 300 pounds. “I saw my

wife exercising a lot but I didn’t want to. Then I decided that I had to turn it around. I

would drive around and see people jogging and I wanted to be able to do that… I wanted

to better myself and be able to keep up with my (three) kids.”

Perez enjoys running with his wife, Melissa, who is 34 and will also run the Fresno Half

as her first official race.

“I push her because sometimes she wants to pick up the pace with me, and sometimes

when I’m feeling down and she’s hauling butt then I want to keep up with her,” he said.

“We help each other. The plan is to stay together during the race.”

Perez said the Team 100 Challengers are like sisters to him.

“I’m nervous but I’m glad to be able to be part of this group and see that people have

faith in me,” he said. “They push me and make me look forward to what I can

accomplish.”

Another Team 100 Challenger, Victoria Macias Perez, is also running her first half

marathon on Sunday. She started working out and walking in September 2012. Within

two years she lost 50 pounds, and then joined T100 in July.

The Madera mom started running “To prove I could do it, for myself at first,” Perez said.

She wanted to do the half marathon last year, but her father fell ill with Non-Hodgkin’s

lymphoma and she stopped training to care for him.

This year, she has stuck to her training and will dedicate her first half marathon to her

father as he continues to fight the disease.

“The day of the half marathon will be my 99th day of commitment, and … my dad’s

birthday, which we are so grateful to be able to celebrate with him another year,” Perez

said.

Rosemary Calderon, 33, completed her second round of T100 on Tuesday, exercising at

least 30 minutes every day for 200 straight days. The mom of three has dropped 80

pounds since making a commitment to get fit.

“I enjoy running and never thought it was the thing for me — I was 243 pounds a year

and a half ago,” she said. “I am dedicating this run to my family. I want them to know

anything is possible with hard work, practice and determination.”

To join T100, call Lupe Delgado at 232-6403.

Their training over the past weeks will culminate with one of the largest local running

events, which boasts about 2,000 half marathon runners and more than 400 full

marathoners. The Two Cities Marathon & Half will be held Sunday with the full

marathon starting at 6:30 a.m., the Clovis Half starting at 7:15 a.m. and the Fresno Half at

7:30. A 5K fun run will begin at 7:45.

Visit RunFresno.com and become a participant or a spectator along the course that runs

through North Fresno and Old Town Clovis. The best thing you can give these Madera

runners is your support.

“It took a lot of training, a lot of sand runs, a lot of stadium (runs), and a lot of females

pushing me,” Julian Perez said. “But I’m ready.”

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