The Madera Tribune File Photo
Madera’s Benny Madrigal crosses the finish line to win the 2018 Second Wind 5K. Madrigal will next run in Monday’s Boston Marathon and then the Big Sur Marathon 13 days later.
Madera’s running sensation Benny Madrigal is taking on the Boston-Big Sur Challenge this month, beginning with Monday’s Boston Marathon.
Madrigal, a former Madera Coyotes cross country Valley Champion, will turn around 13 days later to run the Big Sur Marathon in Northern California on April 28.
“Marathons take quite a bit out of you,” Madrigal said. “It depends on how hard you run. You are on your feet for a long time. They didn’t pull my leg that hard or bend my arm that much and I was kind of talked into doing the challenge. We had this idea in mind to make some noise. We want people to know that if we can go out and do this challenge, if they have goals in mind, they can at least attempt it. Diabetes shouldn’t be the thing that keeps you from doing the things you love to do.”
Madrigal is an ambassador for Novo Norvodisk and runs with Team Type 1, which references Type 1 diabetes.
“We want to inspire, educate and empower people affected by Type 1 diabetes,” he said. “Our platform is sports and running because that’s what we enjoy.”
Madrigal will run in his fifth Boston Marathon on Monday with four teammates with Type 1 and two of them will be doing the Boston-Big Sur Challenge. A friend of the team will also join the challenge.
“I feel good,” Madrigal said. “ I have the confidence going in that I’ve done it a few times. I know the course. There are no surprises. The crowd is going to be insane and the supporters are going to be amazing. What we’re representing, I feel more responsible to represent the community because every year, there’s more and more people diagnosed.”
Each time Madrigal runs the Boston Marathon, he tries to better his time. However, last year’s marathon was run in horrible running conditions. Not only was it cold, it was raining and windy.
“Last year was very difficult to improve because it was the worst weather in Boston history and I wasn’t the one who said it,” he said. “People who know bad weather called it the worst weather ever. It was cold, windy and raining. You know it’s bad when someone from Minnesota says it’s not good.”
Although it is recommended runners take a day of rest for every mile raced, Madrigal will make the turnaround in 13 days. However, he feels he will be ready for both marathons, despite having a tough year last year.
“I had my appendix out and other things I dealt with,” he said. “I felt like I was coming into a brand new start. I took it a lot lighter. I did 70 mile weeks a few times, but not as much as I would like. I have been doing other things to complement the running like bicycling and running in the pool. I feel fit. I’m feeling good and had some good races heading into this. I feel confident I’ll go out there and complete both marathons.
Madrigal hopes to run both marathons in under three hours, although he has lower numbers in his head he would like to reach.
“I feel I’m very capable of doing that,” he said. “Of course, in my head, there are other times I want to hit. When I get to the starting line, I’m going to start faster than that. I will be doing a 5:50 to a 6:10 pace. By the 15th mile, if I feel good, I’ll keep it going. If I need to step back, I will do that as needed.”
Madrigal wants to show people with diabetes that it shouldn’t stop them from doing what they want to do.
“You shouldn’t let diabetes control your life,” he said. “You have to take control of your diabetes to take control of your life. I manage my diabetes. I have it, regardless. You’re constantly thinking about management. Sometimes people think because you have diabetes, you can’t do this or can’t do that. We put limit on ourselves. In reality, if you have good management and you’re taking care of yourself, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t attempt things you like. You can still live the life you live. We want to set a positive example for people who are diagnosed with diabetes around the world.”
In addition, Madrigal loves to represent Madera wherever he runs, especially in Boston.
“I love representing Madera,” he said. “I live here and have been here a long time. I’m always proud to get out there to represent myself and the city I live in. There’s a lot of good people here. It’s something positive to put out there for others.”