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Posted: 9:27 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 6, 2014

After getting cancer diagnosis, Sean Maguire is running his marathon early 

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After cancer diagnosis, Sean Maguire is running his marathon early
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Sean Maguire was diagnosed with cancer Jan. 3. He's running his marathon today, before he has surgery to remove a tumor next week.

By Pam LeBlanc

Sean Maguire is running his Austin Marathon a little early this year.

If you're reading this Thursday morning, he's out there now, ticking off all 26.2 miles, 10 days before the official race.

Not that he planned it this way.

Maguire, who ran his first marathon last year, went in for a routine colonoscopy a month ago. Doctors discovered a tumor, and scheduled surgery for Feb. 13, just three days before the Austin Marathon. But Maguire didn't want to give up his race.

He ran his first marathon a year ago, after gaining weight and vowing, on the eve of his 49th birthday, that he would get back in shape by the time he was 50. He did. He signed up for the Austin Marathon, and looking for motivation got involved with Team Livestrong. He decided to run the 2013 race in support of a young woman with melanoma, Kate Voth. (Voth passed away last summer.)

“It’s crazy. I had never run more than 5 miles at one time,” he says now. “I never felt like a runner because I was pigeon-toed and bow-legged. But when I started training I started feeling better and got into it and I got faster.”

That vow to get in shape has served him well, especially now that he's facing cancer. When he asked one of his doctors if it was OK to run the 2014 marathon a week before his surgery, the doctor agreed. “He said, ‘I wouldn’t just say yes, I’d say absolutely yes,’” Maguire says.

Maguire says he's sure the running will help him as he faces his diagnosis. Tests have shown that his cancer hasn’t spread to other organs.

“I still have a road ahead of me,” Maguire says. After the surgery, he’ll undergo six months of chemotherapy.

Maguire started his marathon at about 7 a.m. today. He plans to run the same course that runners will follow on Feb. 16. He expects to finish at about 10:30 or 10:45 a.m. As he did last year, he's running this year as part of Team Kate and Team Livestrong.

Marathon officials, including race director John Conley, say they’ll be on hand to hand him his finisher’s medal and T-shirt when he crosses the finish line.

Then Maguire will move on to that other race - the one against cancer.

To read more about Maguire’s story, check out his blog at http://3months4life.com/the-best-shape-of-my-life/. To donate via his Livestrong fundraising page, go to www.livestrong.org/fundraising/event/1630/46939/ .

 

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UPDATE

*****

 Maguire successfully finished his marathon this morning, becoming, well, the first person to cross the finish of the 2014 Austin Marathon and Half Marathon Presented by Freescale.

Congrats!

Here's what he said after finishing:

"It was awesome.  Very cold out there!  I shouldn't have worn shorts, and should have worn gloves!  Kate Voth's husband Mike met me at mile 8 and ran the rest of the way with me.  Then, at the finish line, the folks from the Austin Marathon and Livestrong were there.  They held up a 'Finish Line' tape for me as I crossed.  There were about 30 people there. What a great day!"

Pam LeBlanc

About Pam LeBlanc

Pam LeBlanc writes about fitness and travel for the Austin American-Statesman. She has worked for the Statesman since 1998 and written her weekly fitness column, Fit City, since 2004.

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