NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - In one month, approximately 30,000 runners will be participating in the Boston Marathon.
Twelve-hundred entries are from Texas, including a Lufkin man who works in Nacogdoches.
East Texas News talked to Armando Bocanegra about what motivated him to run the famous 26-mile race.
Bocanegra's day job is a machine operator at Parker. However, when Armando clocks out, he's on the run training for next month's Boston Marathon.
"You got to run at least five days a week between 45 and 50 miles a week," Bocanegra said.
The fit athlete has been at it for about 10 years. As an adult, he wanted to kick some bad health habits, so he returned to a sport he enjoyed back in high school.
"Usually when I got a little problem, I'm a little stressful, I just go and take a run, and everything just becomes better," Bocanegra said.
Armando's running abilities improved so much that he qualified for the famed Boston Marathon once before, but he never got to make the trip.
This year the long-distance runner turned 50. He's celebrating the milestone with a commitment to be at the Boston's starting line on April 17th. His co-workers at Parker are helping him get there.
"Ideas that we came up with were to design a T-shirt and sell them and give the profits to them," said Amy Nichols, Parker's human resources manager.
Then the bosses stepped up their pace.
"We raffled vacation days, so we're selling tickets to employees for vacation days and also attendance days which are a hot item here as well," Nichols said.
The incentives are a motivating factor for Armando.
"Yeah, I got more motivation to go and train, and so many people are behind me," Bocanegra said. "They say they're going to be keeping track of how I'm doing. I think it's awesome."
Approximately 500,000 spectators will line the 26.2-mile Boston Marathon course. In Armando's mind his co-workers will be right there with him to cheer him to the finish line.
There are other East Texans on the Boston Marathon entry list. We found three from Tyler, three from Nacogdoches, and runners each from Lindale and Livingston.
You can follow runners' progress online here.