LUFKIN, Texas (KTRE) - One year ago Mike Mchaney did not like what he saw in the mirror and he changed it.
On Janurary 23, 2019, Mchaney weighed 346 pounds. The next 11 months would change his life.
With a tight support group including his wife, Mchaney changed his eating habits and started to exercise daily.
“My dad passed away last Christmas, Christmas Eve of 2018," Mchaney said. "His one wish for me was, ‘Son I want you to get healthy.’”
Mchaney dropped about 160 lbs without having a surgery.
“It was all healthy eating and exercise,” Mchaney said. “It can be done.”
Through the process of losing the weight, Mchaney had the idea of running a marathon and started talking to Lufkin ISD coach Jerri K Boyd.
“I was excited for Mike and we made a plan,” Boyd said. “Sometimes he would go a little over on what we set for him to run. He was an eager beaver.”
The two set their sites on the Houston Marathon as his goal.
Twenty-seven thousand people this year took part in the Houston Marathon. The race is attended by some of the top runners in the world all the way down to first time participants like Mchaney.
“About six miles in I was like, 'Man can I do this?" Mchaney said. "Then I saw my first wave of supporters and that pushed me through.
Four and a half hours later, Mchaney crossed the finish line.. and immediately found his family.
“I got to about the 23 mile mark and started thinking about my dad and I ran the rest of the race crying,” Mchaney said.
This experience has also given Mchaney the chance to help others. Twice a week he gets with Lufkin ISD employees and the run.
“At the age of 45 he is looking for other Mike’s out there," Boyd said. "There are other people that have the same passion and he is able to share that. I just love his unselfishness and his ability to promote it and help others.”
“God put it on me to do something and give back and help others," Mchaney said. "What I have learned is the running community is so supportive of everyone. It is not about me. it is everybody to the finish line, whatever we have to do to get everybody there.”