From Daily Pilot byby Steve Virgen Contact Reporter.

On most Saturdays, Marcell Bassett will ditch his running shoes and run on his bare feet. His toes crush into the sand. He prefers to train for the OC Marathon on the beach.

He says the work helps with his posture and strengthens his stride. He wants to be ready, and he believes this will help. This applies to a marathon race, but it could also be a reflection of his everyday life.

Each morning, Bassett, 43, of Costa Mesa must find ways to be prepared for the day. He lives with autism.

The complex developmental disability became well-known in the 1988 movie “Rain Man.” But this isn’t Hollywood, and Bassett isn’t counting cards in a casino or desperately wanting to watch “People’s Court.”

He’s a gentle soul who is passionate about running, and yet there’s more to him than that, and more to him than autism.

For the past few months leading into Sunday’s 13th annual OC Marathon, Bassett’s life has been mostly about running … and running … and running.