Supported and Loved Runner Story

Belen & Marty

Marty Deason & Belen Valdovinos

Where are you from?

M: Originally from Colorado – been in Katy since 2010

B: Asuncion, Paraguay

Tell us about your family.

M: Wife Belen,  two adult children in Colorado, and one adult stepdaughter studying at Texas A&M.

B: Marty Deason’s husband, Agustina (21), daughter

What’s your profession?

M: Technology Services Sales (Device as a Service)

B: Civil Engineer

When did you start getting into running/walking?

M: I ran in high school.  Then took a 25-year “break”.  Resumed running when I moved to Katy.

B: I started running in my late teens, 17-18.

Why did you start?

M: Started with the Lifetime run group when I joined the Katy location.

B: Mental health, they said I had too much energy, and since I wasn’t good at any “sport” I chose running. My dream was to one day run a marathon. I found a coach who taught me how to run by run-walking (1 min run, 4 min walk)…

What are your most memorable races?

M: Too many to list.  Every race has its memorable moments.  Oddly enough, I rarely remember individual races or PRs.  I do remember breaking the 3:30 marathon barrier for the first time and winning a 5k in California.  I remember those races because they showed me that I could accomplish something that I previously doubted.

B: Oh wow… too many to count. To me, every race has something memorable, whether good or “bad”. I always try to learn from what went well and from what went wrong. And after so many years, I am still learning.

But some that I cherish are:

  • Rocky Raccoon 2016 (100 miles) taught me a whole different level of pain. There is a Belen before RR and after RR.
  • Houston Marathon 2018, my first BQ and huge PR, taught me to trust the process and follow the plan.
  • Ironman Texas 2018 was the first time I ran an Ironman Marathon in under 4 hours. PR at the time
  • Ironman Florida 2019, first podium at Ironman distance, beating 6th place by 2 seconds.
  • Ironman Maryland 2021, first World Championship, Kona qualifier, PR, and 3rd place podium. One of the best races I had to date.

Kona 2022… because it was Kona, and it took me 3 years of racing Ironman back to back, and plenty of tears and sweat to get there. Getting to this race taught me the true meaning of commitment and hard work. And crossing that finish line was the celebration.

Are any races lined up?

M: Galveston 70.3

B: USAT Nationals on August 5th; Ironman World Champion in Kona on October 14, 2023; California International Marathon (CIM) in December.

Do you have any fitness/wellness/race goals for 2023?

M: Hope to P.R. both the 70.3 and 140.6 Triathlon distance in 2023.  Would also like to possibly run a fast half marathon in the fall/winter.

B: Maintain a good level of fitness to PR a couple of races. This year I have Challenge Roth (June) and the Ironman World Championship in Kona, Hawaii (October). Maybe CIM to end the year 😊

Other interesting facts/info: 

M: I’m a coach by nature.  I’ve coached everything from running, to triathlon, and traditional sports all the way to being the head Bowling coach at a high school.  My goal growing up was to be a High School History teacher and sports coach.

B: Never really considered myself an “athlete”. I just ran because I argued with people less after running, true story. Started running 5k but kept going and realized the longer I go, the better I feel.