Mariano Ezeta was born in Mexico on June 7th, 1993, and at six months of age, Mariano and his family moved to Canada.
At a very early age in his life, Nano as he liked to be called, displayed a strong athletic ability. During his childhood, he had the opportunity to try many different sports that included; swimming, basketball, and soccer. It wasn’t until junior high when he found that special connection with running and enrolled into the Spartans Track & Field Club. Later, during his university years, Nano became part of the Dino’s track and field team, which for him became more than just team mates, they became like family!
In the seasons of 2012-13 and 2014-15 Nano learned and improved his running, and in 2015 he won the Canada West Men’s Track & Field Championships. He won conference Gold medals in 4/200m and 4/400m relays, and Canada West Bronze in 300m. He later participated in the Canadian Nationals where he finished seventh overall in the 300-meter distance.
Mariano always loved the 200m distance, but was particularly fond of the 400 meters, a race that in his point of view involved two different aspects and combined many skills. One being the need to be fast (but not as fast as in the 100m or 200m), and be alert to be able to react to your opponents moves. The second, and most important, to be able to tolerate body torture when acute agony kicks in on the last 100 meters and your body is asking you to stop, the control of mind to push the body to cross that finish line despite the pain. Indeed, for Mariano, extensive effort and painful training were part of his daily life.
Mariano had a lot of plans for his life and a great future as an athlete. He had the dream to become part of Team Canada and one day be able to represent Canada in the Olympics.
On July 16th of 2015, as Mariano was preparing for the 2016 Nationals, he started to become ill and was having trouble performing at his best. It was then when, after several medical tests, his whole world turned upside down. It was that day he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML), at a very aggressive stage of the disease. All his dreams were shattered by Cancer.
Even though an extremely difficult task, Mariano was brave enough to recognize he was about to start a new race, THE ULTIMATE 400m race! All the training and endurance he had acquired during his years of training was now going to be put to the test. Mariano was always determined to win and he didn’t want this time to be any different, so he decided to run this race with all his heart and soul put into it.
For almost two years Nano ran without rest, with great courage and perseverance. He made sure he always learned from others and thanked doctors, nurses, friends, teammates, and family members, who were cheering him up along the way.
In February of 2017 things drastically changed for Mariano, when doctors ran out of options for available treatment. It was then when Nano realized he was entering the last 100m of the 400-meter race. As the Elite runner he was, he knew this was no time to stop and give up. It was a mind over body battle. As time was running out his spirit became stronger every day. At the end, he was not only running for himself but his mind was strong enough to lift the rest of us who had been running along his side, carrying us to the finish line. Together we ran the last leg of his race with our heads up, cheering each other up, thanking him for teaching us the hardest lesson on how to tackle the challenges of life without ever losing hope.
On April 30th of 2017, with great spiritual strength, Mariano crossed the finish line to Heaven and went to be with our Lord. Mariano was in peace, knowing that his spirit couldn’t be broken as long as his destiny was fulfilled. He left us a strong legacy of love and care for others and to never give up! Let’s honour him and others by continuing our fight against this disease.
NANO RUN FREE FOREVER!