Correctional Officer Jeffrey Boyd recently conquered the 2023 LA Marathon after a year-long journey of achieving physical wellness goals.
In honor of Physical Wellness Month and to kick-off the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run season, read the California Correctional Institution (CCI) staff member’s inspiring story.
Q&A with Officer Boyd, California Correctional Institution
What started you on your physical wellness journey?
Guess I really started in February 2022 out of a necessity. I was 39 years old, 250 pounds and always felt like I was a pretty athletic person. But at that time, I was not physically able to do what I felt mentally I could handle. So with 100% support from my family, I dove head first into bettering myself. I am one of those people who puts everything I have into something I set my mind to. With that being said, I told myself when I hit the age of 40 (December 2022), I want to be in better shape than when I was 20.
Spartan runs aid 60-pound weight loss
What brought you to racing?
I started out in the gym like everyone else does, cut my calories like everyone else does, and really was just winging it like most everyone else does. I didn’t feel that was going to get me where I wanted to be when I wanted to be there. So I signed up for a Spartan race, something to motivate me even further.
After my first race in Big Bear, which I finished, I was completely demoralized about how out of shape I was. So I went back to the drawing board and dove even deeper. I started long-distance running, circuit training, and sprinkling in some CrossFit workouts. The weight started falling off. I signed up for 14 more Spartan races in 2022. By July that year, I had lost 60 pounds, putting me at 190, right where I wanted to be. Now it was time to maintain, build strength and push those long distance runs to build my endurance.
From smaller runs to a marathon
Tell us about your participation in the LA Marathon.
Fast forward to December. I ended up having shoulder surgery for an existing injury so I couldn’t do strength training for a few months. I decided to sign up for the 2023 Los Angeles Marathon. Something in my mind I thought was not even possible for me. Also, I had never really wanted to run a marathon. I trained for a few months, really pushing those runs. On March 18, I raced the L.A. Big 5k, placing 14th in my age group with a 5k time of 23:41 (7:37 mile time). The next day, I ran the marathon of 26.2 miles for a time of 3 hours 54 minutes (8:57 mile time). This blew away my goal which was a 4 hour 20 minute pace. Never would I have thought I could run a sub 4-hour marathon with where I started just a year prior.
How has improving physical wellness impacted your life?
To say the last year has changed my life would be an understatement. Mentally and physically I am a much better person. Also getting my kids involved with a couple races in 2022 was great. For the rest of 2023, I have 12 Spartan races already scheduled and possibly a couple marathons. I feel I reached my original goal of being in better shape at 40 then when I was 20. Now it’s time to set new goals and look to the future.
Law Enforcement Torch Run is one way to achieve wellness goals
If you’re ready to tackle physical wellness goals like Officer Boyd, consider making the Special Olympics Law Enforcement Torch Run your first race to support a worthy cause. To start a team, use the links below. Or, if you prefer, join an existing team. We will be sharing a list of all CDCR/CCHCS registered teams in the coming weeks. Not a runner? You don’t have to be. Check out the volunteer/donation opportunities in the links below or talk to the captain of your local team.
Send the registration link for your CDCR/CCHCS team to by e-mail to Lifeline@cdcr.ca.gov by Friday, April 28, to be published and shared statewide.
- Special Olympics Southern California LETR
- Special Olympics Northern California LETR (dates: June 12-23, summer games begin June 23)
Story submitted by CCHCS
See more stories highlighting CDCR/CCHCS staff.