After finishing the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race, Ricardo Cadillo stood out a little from most of his fellow runners.
Red, white and blue dominated the outfits of the thousands of participants with everything from statue-of-liberty costumes to George Washington masks. Most simply wore a shirt with some type of American flag theme. And Cadillo joined them. He wore a blue tank top with white stars and USA socks. But an arm sleeve modeled after the Mexican flag contrasted the rest of his attire.
“You never forget where you’re from,” Cadillo said.
Born in Mexico, he moved to the United States in 1974. He served in the Marines for three years after moving to the U.S. Cadillo enjoys the patriotism behind the Peachtree Road Race.
“As a veteran, it just shows what the United States is all about,”Cadillo said.
As he stood waiting for his wife and friend, Cadillo, who resides in Buford, joked about leaving them behind in the race. He has recently developed a love for running, and his finish marked the fourth consecutive Peachtree he’s run.
Cadillo said he struggled some with the heat and didn’t beat his time from last year, but was glad he fought through it.
“Well, they stopped us up there because somebody fell,” Cadillo said. “The last time was better than this one. Today, the humidity was bad. I had to walk on the two hills. When I was going up the hill, I had to stop because I was cramping up.”
With the Peachtree now in his rearview mirror, Cadillo plans to prepare for his next two races that will earn him a special honor as a member of the Atlanta Track Club.
“I’m going to run the three races,” Cadillo said. “The Peachtree, which is a 10K, the next one is a 15K and then the half-marathon to get that special medal.”