Get me to the Chicago Marathon!

Have you ever accidentally caught your reflection in a mirror? Or glimpsed yourself as you hurried past a glass door in the mall? What follows is usually one of two reactions "“ indifference or total shock. I didn't recognize the man in the picture. I considered myself energetic and outgoing, but the guy sitting in that recliner was lethargic and apathetic. I asked myself, when did this happen? How had it taken a random photo to come face-to-face with whom I had become?

Miraculously, the picture was my wake up call. From that day on, I made a decision to change my life. In addition to proper nutrition and exercise, I looked for ways to make the process fun. This included a combination of obstacle course challenges, mud runs, powerlifting competitions and running. Yes, that 260-pound man in the picture decided to take up running. I started with a 4-mile run. Now, 4 years later, this 220-pound man has gained entry into the 2014 Chicago Marathon taking place this October!

What began as a mission to reclaim a healthy life has turned into a personal challenge to push beyond my limits and reach new milestones. If my story has inspired or encouraged you, I ask for your support in getting me to Chicago. Your contributions will assist with the cost of flights, lodging, transportation and meals to and from New York, and if I'm lucky a new pair of running shoes to break in for race day! All donations, regardless of amount, are appreciated. Thank you for supporting my dream to run my first marathon!

For those looking for a place to start, below is a list of the events I've participated in since shedding my second skin four years ago!

"¢ 4 Mile Run as One "“ 2010 "“ FIRST RACE EVER!
"¢ Michelob Ultra 13.1 Marathon - Mar 2011, Mar 2012
"¢ Joe Kleinerman 10K - Jan 2014
"¢ Manhattan Half Marathon "“ Jan 2014
"¢ Washington Heights 5K "“ March 2014
"¢ Scotland Run 10K "“ April 2014
"¢ Brooklyn Half Marathon (registered) "“ May 2014

Other Events:
"¢ Tough Mudder
Mar 2013, Oct 2012, and Oct 2013 - Pennsylvania & New Jersey

"¢ USA Power Lifting
Aug 2013 "“ New Jersey (Deadlift only, first place finish with 512 lift)
Dec 2013 - Pennsylvania (all three lifts, max dead of 534, Squat of 390, bench 250)

"¢ Merrell Down and Dirty NY 10K Obstacle Course
Sept 2012, Sept 2013 "“ Bronx, NY

Believe in yourself,
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Jose Velez 
Parking, NY
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