A Michigan man who once weighed 650 pounds ran a marathon in Detroit after losing a staggering 475 pounds, according to reports.
Carlos Orosco, 43, was given roughly three years to live by a doctor in late 2015 when his weight ballooned to 650 pounds due to a lifestyle dominated by heavy drinking, poor nutrition and a big appetite, the Detroit Free Press reports.
Orosco’s extreme size caused him to suffer from cellulitis – a bacterial infection that attacked the cracked skin on his swollen legs – as well as gout, high blood pressure and other health issues.
But the doctor’s ominous warning led the logistics manager to reshape his life. And at 175 pounds, that culminated in Sunday’s finish at the Detroit Free Press/TCF Bank Marathon.
“It’s been a blessing,” Orosco, whose gastric sleeve surgery removed 80% of his stomach, said just before Sunday’s marathon. “It gave me my life back.”
Orosco had a hard time controlling his emotions at the finish line, where he embraced running partner Katelyn Trepkowski, who scrawled the couple’s target times on her arm.
“She had the plan,” Orosco said of Trepkowski. “She got me through it.”
The pair crossed the finish line together at 6:31:14. Orosco said he got dehydrated around mile 20, and Trepkowski helped him power through by grabbing a cooler filled with cups of water and carrying it alongside the Zilwaukee, Michigan, man, who can only eat or drink small amounts at a time.
Orosco finished in 3,108th place out of 3,206 runners and 1,860th place among 1,907 men, race results show.
Orosco told Runner’s World earlier this year that he set his sights on Detroit after finishing his first half-marathon in 2018 at just 185 pounds. He lost another 10 pounds for Sunday’s race — some three years after the surgeon’s warning that he would die from cardiac arrest unless he dramatically altered his way of living.
“I used to have the mindset at a race that I didn’t belong, that these people were different from me,” Orosco said. “But on race day, I know I’ve put in the time and the work, and my mind clears of everything except the route in front of me. I finally feel like I belong.”
Orosco now hopes to “keep running and stay healthy” after losing the most weight of any runner who finished the Detroit marathon in race history — dating back to 1978, the Free Press reports.