Nearly 500-pound man beats odds, competes in Ironman Texas

By Ryan Korsgard - Reporter

HOUSTON - When hundreds of triathletes from all over the world line up at the starting line of Ironman Texas in The Woodlands on April 28, Marcus Cook will be there, weighing less than half what he did when he weighed nearly 500 pounds.

"I had a very close, personal friend of mine who was dying of cancer. He pulled me into his office one day. He said, 'Hey, Marcus, I'm dying from this incurable disease. You're dying because of your choice.' When he said that to me, it was like a light switch went off," Cook said.

Now, Cook trains constantly to compete in the 140.6 mile race.

The race includes a 2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bike race and a 26.2-mile run.

Weight loss surgery was just part of Cook’s success. He also changed his eating, his training and his thinking.

"I got outside. I started walking 20 minutes a day. I stopped circling the parking lot. I started parking in the back of the parking lot and walking," Cook said.

Two and a half years ago, Cook said he weighed 489 pounds. Now he weighs 225.

A year ago, he completed his first Ironman.  A cutout of his former self greeted him at the finish line.

For those who doubt, he says get moving-- for a race, for an Ironman or for yourself.

"I'm telling you, all you have to do is stop thinking that it's over. And start thinking about how you can become a new person. Use my finish line at this race for whatever starting line you have," Cook said. 

To follow Cook’s journey, click link here.

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