It was his first time running in such an event, but this November, Pharmacy Technician Pablo Estrada completed the Geico Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon in 2 hours, 37 minutes, and 33 seconds. His supervisor, Dr. Todd Bleak, himself an avid marathon runner, encouraged Pablo to make the attempt.
In six weeks’ time, Pablo lost 30 pounds thanks to helpful nutrition and fitness advice from Dr. Bleak. After his successful transformation, he knew he needed another challenge, something else to be proud of. That’s when he was convinced to participate in the half marathon, despite only 24 days to train and collect a minimum of $500 for St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
“[Dr. Bleak] believed in me, and I soon realized that was all I needed,” said Pablo.
His first week of training, Pablo ran five miles daily, 2.5 in the morning and 2.5 in the evening. The next week, he ran eight miles daily, again splitting the distance between day and night. On his last week, Pablo ran those 8 daily miles with no breaks in-between.
“On race day, I felt I was stronger than ever before and felt very confident in myself. That led me to run the first 10 miles without having to stop or walk in-between,” he said. “Big thank you to everyone who donated to St. Jude! At first, I didn’t think I would make it past the $500 mark with only three weeks until race day. With healthy and nutritious smoothies offered to those who donated, I was able to meet my goal in just 16 days!”
Ninety percent of the donations received came from Pablo’s Health District colleagues. Contributions go toward finding a cure for childhood cancer.