HARLINGEN — Kiko Casillas, 33, wakes up at 4 a.m. every day to run.
Casillas, originally from Valle Hermoso, Tamaulipas, and resides there, won first place at the Harlingen Marathon held Sunday with a time of 3:02:28.
He said he has been participating in marathons and running actively for six years.
“I have been participating in the Harlingen Marathon since it started but I was always just in the top ten,” he said.
“I have to give huge thanks to my coach David Zuniga, who has been helping me train for it,” Casillas said.
He has run in 20 different marathons. According to him, his next one will be the Mexico City Marathon in August and the Boston Marathon of 2021.
“Every time I run a marathon, I try to pay attention to my times and try to do better the next time,” he said.
Casillas said he began to participate in marathons to be healthier and try to maintain a better lifestyle.
He said no one else in his family runs or participates in marathons.
“I am like the black sheep of running,” Casillas said.
“My first race was the Charro Days run in 2014. After that you begin to want to compete with yourself. I began to do better training and wanting to improve,” he said.
Casillas said he trains every day and on weekends he runs for two hours.
“After the marathon on Sunday, I rested for two days, but usually, I run every day,” he said.
Casillas wears a distinctive T-shirt sporting his hometown’s name with a design resembling a Tamaulipas staple leather fringe jacket.
“It is important for me to represent my hometown that I love so much,” he said.
For Casillas, running marathons and being a part of the running community in the Valley is something he hopes more people will do.
“I would like to invite people to join this great community. They will realize what a great feeling it is and how good it can be for you,” Casillas said.