Every participant in the Gusher Marathon has a story. For some, it will be their first marathon while others are more experienced. A Jefferson County man participating will be running his 100th marathon!
From running home from his high school job to drills in boot camp for the Marines, running has weaved its way through Anthony Mireles' life. Now the activity has become a hobby, lifestyle and clearly a passion for the runner. It has also taught him a thing or two over the years.
"One foot in front of the other and don't fall down," said Mireles.
Getting geared up for this weekend's Gusher, Mireles is in the zone. Saturday morning won't be his first time off the starting line. The former Marine and refinery worker has completed dozens of marathons. The Gusher 2017 will mark his 100th race.
"It's nice to do a hometown run, it's not that big of a hassle," said Mireles. "I don't have to rent a hotel, I just get up and drive to the race and run it."
His very first marathon was in Houston in 1985.
SPORTS SOCIETY FOR AMERICAN HEALTH | Anthony-Mireles-Head Over Heels in Love With Running
"That first marathon was really hard. I didn't run another one for eight years."
Mireles did lace up his shoes many times after that, running thousands of miles since that first race.
"It was just to relieve stress and you feel better when you run a little bit," said Mireles. "Maybe I took it to the extreme."
His passion has taken him all over the world.
"I've been to some neat places. I've been to Big Sur...Lake Tahoe."
Mireles usually trains for about 12 weeks before a marathon but has already run 26.2 miles in Houston and Austin this year. He says the weeks, days and hours before a race can be crucial.
"If you don't train, you're going to suffer."
While Mireles says running is the way he chooses to stay active, all Southeast Texans can benefit from getting up and moving.
"You're just healthier as long as you stay active. It doesn't have to be running. It can be cycling, swimming, even walking."
Mireles has run everything from 5ks to 100 mile ultra-marathons.
He said since joining the Golden Triangle Strutters, he's enjoyed the camaraderie of the group and now has plenty of training buddies.
His goal for the Gusher is to finish in under 5 hours.