Jim Jochum’s shirt made it clear what he was fighting as he finished the Atlanta Journal-Constitution Peachtree Road Race on Tuesday.
The front of his shirt read, “Neuropathy my (expletive).” The back read, “I can beat diabetes.”
Diagnosed two years ago, Jochum didn’t get too serious about changing his lifestyle until a neurologist told him 10 weeks ago about diabetic neuropathy damaging his fingers and toes, which causes numbness and tingling.
The news quickly made an impact on Jochum.
“I got serious about it and said I’ve got to correct my life,” Jochum said. “And I’ve lost 27 pounds in the last 10 weeks.”
Never a serious runner, Jochum seemed happy with his fourth Peachtree Road Race and how he finished. He expects to continue his training regimen while losing more weight and doing even better in the future. Still, the Gainesville resident seemed energized after completing the course in just more than two hours on a scorching day.
“Oh yeah,” Jochum said when asked if he felt good during the race. “It was great, very organized, people were very friendly, very motivational, the fans and the spectators, it was great. I’m still not a runner, but I’ll get to that point because I was up to 291 pounds. And at my height, I should be maybe 210.”
Like most, Jochum loved how much people represented the country and the community as they ran in the 10K.
“It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our independence. We just moved to Georgia a few years ago, so I think you should participate in things like this. I’m married to a Georgia girl, so it’s really nice.”
Every year the AJC Peachtree Road Race draws 60,000 runners to the heart of Atlanta on Fourth of July. The 10 kilometer race begins near Lennox Mall in Buckhead. And it ends in the heart of Midtown, at Piedmont Park. (Erica A. Hernandez)