Since 2012, Randall Goode of Midfield, Texas has dropped more than 200 pounds and picked up a passion for running in the process.
“I was a running enthusiast as a youth and young adult,” explains Randall. “But after my children were born, I had trouble finding time to run and even more so when I became a single dad when they were pre-teens.”
A decade ago, Randall weighed in at 400 pounds and was frustrated and concerned about his health. In 2012, he was inspired by a friend selected to be in HEB’s Slimdown Showdown, a 12-week contest designed to provide contestants from across the state with the education and tools they need to live a healthier lifestyle (and encourage a larger audience in the process). Randall followed along and lost weight himself – and was chosen to be a contestant for the 2013 season!
“During my official participation in HEB’s 2013 Slimdown Showdown, I lost 45 pounds more. I also lowered both my blood pressure and my A1C to levels where I could safely discontinue medications. I learned about the importance of protein and what my better protein choices are — and was happy to be able to keep lean beef in my diet. I learned how to shop smart and prepare food for a healthy lifestyle. Now that I manage my Type 2 diabetes through diet and exercise, lowering sugar and carb intake is important, but without cutting them out completely. All this being said, I’m still a work in progress,” Randall chuckles.
In 2013, a friend convinced Randall to join him in a local 5k. It would be the first race that Randall had ever run in his lifetime, and he was 54 years old! That simple fun run was the start of something bigger. Later that same summer, he won his first age-group medal in the Fireman’s 4 Race in Port O’Conner (his original hometown). He then went on to complete a half marathon, and eventually, his first full marathon!
There have been obstacles along the way. In 2019 Randall discovered blot clots in his lungs and legs. In 2021 and 2022 Randall fought cancer, being sidelined for several months each time to recover.
“I have Squamous Cell Carcinoma which started in my lip and had spread to my lymph nodes and thyroid,” explains Randall.
“The presenting symptom was horribly chapped lips that weren’t getting better after months. A friend wisely suggested that I go to a dermatologist. Quickly I was scheduled for surgery (a 9.5-hour procedure where I was awake) for the doctor to remove bits of my lip at a time, checking for affected tissue. A new lip was built with surrounding skin and, in a second surgery later, from part of my arm. At that time, I was declared “Cancer Free”, but within a few months, it was back. I sought additional treatment at MD Anderson and was pronounced “Cancer Free” again. That was a year ago, in January 2022, and I’m still cancer free and feel like I’m winning this battle. I’ve never feared for my life during this cancer journey, but this it’s been a fascinating ‘adventure’ that I would never wish on anybody else. The question I get asked most frequently is, ‘Are you or have you been a tobacco user?’ The answer is NO.”
Randall, who works at a chemical and plastics plant, has two grown children, Kim and Derik, along with two grandsons. “My grandsons are into sports and athletics,” says Randall, and I have high hopes that I will get to run in events with them in the future.”
Read on to learn more about this inspirational man we are proud to have had on the Texas Beef Team since 2015.
Nickname: My nickname is Gator, I’m guessing because in addition to turtles and tortoises, I’ve also kept alligators as pets.
Hobbies: I like camping, hiking, going on cruises, and keeping up with my many collections including cherished photo albums, including one for running with photos, bibs, and other memorabilia.
Volunteering: I have been a Boy Scout since 1969, as a youth for 8 years, ultimately earning the Eagle Scout rank. Since that achievement, I have kept up my involvement with scouting by volunteering in a variety of roles and positions to support the organization.
Childhood Beef Memory: On special occasions mom would bring home a large roast and fix it up with potatoes and carrots. This was always a super delicious and much anticipated meal for our big family, where I was the sixth of seven children. Mom had the big job of feeding nine people every day, chickens and eggs were plentiful. And sometimes extra seafood Dad would bring home from his job as a commercial fisherman and shrimper (the job he held after serving in USCG). But the beef was always a special treat we looked forward to!
Favorite Beef Dishes: I was nearly 40 years old before I had a steak in a restaurant. I immediately fell in love with Ribeye. Next up, I would say I love a good cheeseburger or hearty, slow-cooked Roast. Also, Carne Guisada, or Brisket – it’s hard to choose! Recently, I tried Beef Bacon and it was delicious.
What I’ve Learned: Since joining the Beef Team, I have learned so much about the nutritional value of beef and protein in general. I’ve learned that protein consumption is very important to my overall health and wellbeing, as well as my strength to be competitive on the race course. “Start strong, finish strong!”
Favorite Races: The Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon in San Antonio is probably the biggest event I do, and it’s a favorite because so many team members are there and the camaraderie is amazing! For smaller races, I’d say the Fireman’s 4 race in Port O’Conner. This four-mile race falls on 4th of July weekend. It is very well organized and every year I get to participate with my family.
Beef Team Memories: It’s almost impossible to choose! But I always like the feeling of support and encouragement from the “Go Beef” cheers while on a race course, from both team volunteers and the general public. I also enjoy the comradery of getting together before or after the race for the Beef Team group photos, group meals, and other social events. It’s a great way to feel connected to a group and meet people.
Inspired By: I get tons of inspiration from the folks I train with and others that I see at events. Most of these are people I would never have known if not for running and cycling, so I am grateful for that. There are two women (and Beef Team members) I am blessed to become great friends with. Training with them makes me feel stronger and faster!
Post-Race Rewards: For me, participating in any event deserves celebration. I always try to reward myself with a nice breakfast or lunch and, if possible, in the company of other Beef Team members.
Favorite Distance: My favorite race distance might be the half marathon, although it’s been a couple of years since I’ve physically been able to run one. I hope to get back to them, but at this time 5k races are my go-to and I even occasionally medal in them. I love big events and the incredible feeling of being in a “river of runners.” Also, small events are wonderful too because they are often fundraisers for a special cause and it feels good to know you are helping a person or group in need. Plus, the small races are easier for me to medal in! Lol!
Mantra: “If you run, you are a runner.”
Next event: I’m ALWAYS training for “the next event,” whatever that may be!
Best Advice: Keep going! Wear good shoes! I like Brooke’s shoes and have at least a dozen pairs!