L.A. Marathon: Twentynine Palms resident ‘back from the dead’

Charles Delvalle
City of residence: Twentynine Palms
Age: 47

Charles Delvalle ran the Los Angeles Marathon for 16 consecutive years before he awoke from a coma four days prior to the 2012 event. Though a severe case of pneumonia required he be placed into an induced coma for 14 days, he insisted on performing his traditional run.

“I was so weak I couldn’t lift a glass,” Delvalle said. “They said you can’t go. You can’t walk. So I watched it on TV, but I was very sad I missed the marathon.”

In his triumphant return to the Los Angeles Marathon on Sunday, Delvalle dressed appropriately as the Addams Family’s Uncle Fester as made his “return from the dead.” Adorned in a full-length trench coat with his entire face and bald head covered in breathable makeup that would have made Uncle Fester proud, Delvalle completed the race in less than four hours, a very respectable 3:51:11 to be exact.

Delvalle, who works as the deputy I.T. manager at the Marine Force Air and Ground Center in Twentynine Palms, even ran the race with props. “Thing,” the disembodied hand from the Addams Family, spent most of the race wiggling on top of his head while he carried a homemade apparatus featuring five light bulbs that illuminated when placed it in his mouth.

“I have ‘Thing’ that will give me the upper hand and I have an extra charge,” Delvalle said. “I said this year, there’s no way I’m going to miss the marathon.”

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