For LHS teacher, motivation goes a long way

Rene Ramirez Jr., Keyania Moore, and Sulma Landero

Lufkin High School Audio/Visual teacher Mike McHaney, center, runs in the 2020 Houston Marathon earlier this month. (Photo by ANDY ADAMS/Lufkin ISD)

Mike McHaney weighed around 350 lbs. at Christmastime in 2018 when his dad told him he needed to get healthy.

“I kind of use that as inspiration,” said McHaney, Lufkin High School’s Audio/Visual teacher.

Lufkin High School Audio/Visual teacher Mike McHaney runs in the 2020 Houston Marathon earlier this month. (Photo by ANDY ADAMS/Lufkin ISD)

McHaney’s dad died shortly after that conversation. In the year that followed, McHaney lost 160 lbs. and completed his first marathon.

McHaney got into running by starting off walking with LHS coaches around the Abe Martin Stadium track. Girls Athletic Director Jerri Kay Boyd took special interest in McHaney because of all the weight he lost in a short amount of time, and began coaching him to help him reach his goal. She believed he could run a marathon, so she wrote a plan for him to prepare for the 2020 Houston Marathon that was held earlier this month.

McHaney finished the 26.2-mile marathon in four hours and 30 minutes, an average of about 10 minutes a mile. He said he enjoyed “every bit of it,” including seeing people dressed up in costumes while running the race. He said he made new friends with some of the thousands of people who were trying to reach the same goal as he was.

“It was a really cool experience,” McHaney said. “A lot of people were there, and 26 miles is a long way.”

Mc Haney said he “absolutely, highly recommends” trying to run a marathon. All of the hard work and dedication he put into reaching his goal was not just for him, but also for his late father who wanted him to look good and be healthy.