HOUSTON – The Houston Rockets mascot is taking off his mask to run the Houston Marathon on Sunday.
While everyone knows Clutch, few recognize the man underneath the costume: Robert Boudwin.
Boudwin has lost 75 pounds since he began training for his first marathon, making it hard for his friends to recognize him.
"I started training back in April, where I just kind of looked in the mirror and said, 'I got to get healthy,'" said Boudwin. "I have twin boys. I want to be around for a long time."
Like many, Boudwin writes down his goals, but he uses his skin instead of paper. He calls it a life tattoo.
"The one that has been left unchecked for eight years now is 'marathon.' So, finally I said it's time to get rid of that and check it off the list," he said.
Finishing a marathon is an opportunity to prove something to himself, and if he needed extra motivation, Boudwin is dedicating the race to his parents.
"My dad's always been there for me. A very strong individual who's taught me a lot about integrity," he said.
"My mother is one of the most passionate people I know. I just want to thank them for the way they've raised me and the man that they've made me," Boudwin added.
Peforming as Clutch and bouncing around a NBA arena for three hours takes a physical toll, but Boudwin says running a marathon is completely different.
"Just hoping my body at 37 holds out and knees and joints don't give out on me, but I'm excited," said Boudwin.