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Jogger turned marathon runner is now Olympic hopeful
A 33-year-old who only started jogging to beat his elder brother now has his eyes set on an Olympic dream.
Kevin Rojas from Brighton started jogging in his 20s and recently his hobby has turned into a serious pursuit.
After taking part in a few 5km and 10km races, the odd trail run and RunBrighton’s Sunday group he caught the bug.
Now the man who started off as a jogger is entertaining the possibility of lining up at the Olympic Games in Rio 2016.
Mr Rojas, who was born in Mexico to an English mother, said: “I really loved the feel and buzz of running. I felt great on these runs and wanted more of it.”
He admitted the real turning point was when he joined a running club.
He added: “My training was always pretty basic, just four or five runs a week at the same pace and just adding miles to it, basic weight training and occasionally cycling.
“It all changed when I joined Brighton and Hove Athletics Club and discovered there was a method to training properly.
“There is structure, phases and guidance. All that I had done previously was build a strong base but now I started really working and training properly.”
This transformation in his training was an eye-opener for him and lead to serious aspirations of becoming a marathon runner.
Before entering the Brighton Marathon he ran several others around the country finishing in a time between three hours and three hours 45 minutes, but clocked a personal best time of 2:48:36 in the city three years ago.
By the following year he was hitting sub-70 minute half marathon times and decided to run the Amsterdam Half Marathon.
Initially embarrassed to stand among the elite athletes at the starting line, his anxiety was quickly quashed.
He said: “The first 10km flew by, there were five of us in a group but by 15km there was only three of us left.
“I felt comfortable with the pace with about 4km to go I thought I could push the pace and try to drop them."
Away from the track, Mr Rojas has an ordinary office job, and feels very lucky to be married to a woman who shares his passion for running.
He said: “She understands how and why I train and we can even travel to races together and enjoy the whole vibe of races and the personal challenge they have for everyone.”
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