By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – John Almeda may be non-verbal, but his determination continues to speak volumes.

The 23-year-old local man who has autism is now training to run next month’s California International Marathon in Sacramento.

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“John’s strength has increased along with his distance and overall happiness,” said John’s mom, Vanessa.

CBS13 has been following John’s story for a couple of years now. We’ve seen how running has eased his mind and made him less anxious about life. It has opened up a whole new world.

In fact, John now has a running coach who calls him “Superman.”

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“Being a runner for so many years—it’s humbling to see how in the zone he is. When he runs, I call him a ‘free spirit’ even though his nickname is, like, ‘Superman,” Ryan Battimarco said.

That free spirit will be running the CIM on Dec. 3. If he finishes in a certain time, he’ll qualify for the 2019 Boston Marathon.

It looks promising for John. Last weekend he ran 24 miles at a 7-minute pace.

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