University of West Georgia Student Ivan Markham better known as “The Running Man” has received the opportunity of a lifetime; he has a chance to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
Markham is known as the Running Man because he runs across the West Georgia campus and Carrollton area every single day. However, it took Markham a long time to reach this milestone. Ivan went through ups and downs all the way to being able to qualify for the marathon.
Before starting to run, Markham was in a different situation.
“I was 300 pounds in my senior year of High School. I wanted a change. I wanted to become healthier,” said Markham. “I went from being an offensive lineman to a long-distance running star. I do long distance running every day.”
“I do something special after losing all that weight and just inspire people,” continued Markham. “I always find that people do not like long distance running and it is very uncommon and with that it amazes people.”
The more Markham ran, the more endurance he gained. He went from going on runs to preparing for marathons.
“The biggest marathon I have run is 26.2 miles and the most I have run around campus is 24 miles,” said Markham.
Not only did Markham improve his running, he feels he has become a legend on UWG’s campus. However, this past year was a struggle for Markham. He almost gave up running all together and everything in his life came to a complete stop
“I had looked into qualifying for the marathon a year before I registered. I was going to do the qualifier in March of this year but I got a DUI in January and I had to drop out. After that I let everything get past me,” said Markham. It took time for him to return to running.
“I had to tell myself, ‘you cannot let one mistake define who you are.’ I promised myself you will not see another guy who cares about running then me,” said Markham.
Markham has now registered for the qualifier with no signs of stopping. “I have two shots to qualify, Sept. 24th and Feb. 28th, 2023. I need to run 26.3 miles in a 3-hour span,” said Markham.
Most runners have a dream or goal they are looking to accomplish, for Markham the adventure is still out there and for now he is striving for greatness.
“I always will run with professionals, so it is hard to label a goal to accomplish,” said Markham. “I do want to do an Ultra Marathon which is running 50 miles in a day. No matter what happens though, this will be one of the greatest comeback stories ever and that only fuels my fire.”
Markham has lived through struggles but ultimately he has been able to pull through. He won’t be remembered for just his talent but for his comeback and dedication to being “The Running Man.”
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