The Marathon of Life
Running long distance used to be foreign to Randy Taylor, a support representative at PDX. In 2011, Taylor weighed 260 pounds and smoked about two packs of cigarettes a day. At the end of the year, he knew that something had to change. In addition to quitting smoking, Taylor wanted to lose weight. So, he made those two goals as his New Year’s resolutions for 2012.
In starting out in his journey to health, he set his initial goal to being able to run a good distance by his birthday at the end of May. Taylor’s birthday wish came early. He signed up for his first 5k in April 2012 and by May, he was down 40 pounds.
Taylor’s next goal was to run a 10k in the Fort Worth Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving Day. While working towards fulfilling that goal, he already had his sights on running in the next Cowtown Marathon.
The Cowtown Marathon is a race that is held every year in the heart of Fort Worth, Texas. Runners from all over the state join in one of the largest running events in Texas, where runners can compete in races from 5Ks all the way to ultra-marathons.
By the time the Cowtown Marathon came around in February 2013, Taylor was down to 175 pounds, ran his first half marathon, and was motivated more than ever before. He continued to train and compete in races over the next few years. Then came the biggest hurdle Taylor had ever faced.
In the early fall of 2017, Taylor was diagnosed with metastatic squamous neck cancer. The cancer was found in a secondary location, in the lymph nodes on the side of his neck. The primary location of the cancer, however, was never found. Due to numerous rounds of chemotherapy and radiation, Taylor was not able to consume enough calories to continue running.
Luckily, Taylor was beginning to feel better and soon enough, he was able to start training again.
His rigorous training for the Cowtown Marathon 2019 began in September of 2018. He was running upwards of 21 miles a week! Taylor continued training for months and in January 2019, some good news came.
“I just got the results of a PET Scan this week and it shows no cancer.” Taylor said. “I am ready to put that cancer behind me with this run.”
The news came at perfect timing as Taylor gears up for this race on February 24th. This race marks his 5th year running in the Cowtown Marathon. “Of all the years I have run in the Cowtown Marathon, this will be the most important race of my life. I just turned 60 years old,” Taylor said. In the past, he has raced in one half-marathon, two marathons, and one ultra-marathon. This year, he will be running a marathon.
“It was because I was in the best health of my life, that my fight with cancer was much easier than others. I have met several men my age going through the same treatments that I had gone through, and they are having a tougher battle,” Taylor said. “I think everyone should start preparing for what might eventually be their own personal battle.”
Randy Taylor is one of many that has had to deal with the tough challenges that life throws at us, but he was able to overcome the seemingly impossible with grit, determination, and will power. We are proud to have him as a part of our family here at PDX.