Twenty-three years ago, Carlos immigrated to California from Guatemala and did what he has done his whole life – adapt. Deaf from childhood, Carlos has learned to become a brilliant communicator and can read lips in both English and Spanish.

Seventeen years ago, Carlos joined the Shutters family and has been a devoted and invaluable member since. He maintains Shutters’ Laundry Department where he excels in every aspect. He runs the department like he does his life, with dedication, efficiency and pride. Another challenge Carlos has conquered is one that not many can lay claim to: Running the LA Marathon.

This iconic “stadium to sea” marathon covers 26.2 miles, starting at Dodger Stadium and ending in Santa Monica on Ocean Avenue. More than 25,000 people participate every year. The course has been certified by USA Track & Field and is a Boston Marathon qualifier. It is formidable and highly regarded with contestants traveling from all over to participate. Carlos has successfully finished the marathon the past three years!

“In 2012, my time was 4 hours and 12 minutes. In 2013, I ran the marathon in 4 hours and 4 minutes. This year,” Carlos said as he held up his medal with a wide grin, “I finished the LA Marathon in 3 hours and 56 minutes.” That’s almost two hours quicker than the average entrant. Carlos runs year-round, adding in only two long runs come marathon-training season.

“On Tuesdays I run four miles; Thursday eight miles, and on Saturdays I run four miles,” he explains. He alters his year-round running schedule just two months before the marathon where he runs ONE 16-mile run and ONE 20-mile run.

I leave to get my camera and when I return Carlos has written down his times on a sheet of paper, to ‘make sure I have the right times.’ His pride is obvious, and inspiring. He sits with his back straight, he hands me his medal to hold, and when we go outside to take photos he smiles wide and looks directly into the camera.

As one of our many Shutters’ Superstars, Carlos works hard at his career and in his personal life to achieve his goals. And he’s got a medal to prove it.