The Marathon Runners
It was a Greek soldier named Pheidippides who ran the first marathon, tasked with delivering a victory message from the Battle of Marathon to Athens. At the time there were two routes he could take, the most tricky being a steep 42 kilometre run over the mountains. He took this one to avoid rebels en route and just had time to gasp out the news before he collapsed and died on arrival. His herculean effort however was whispered about for centuries and the ‘marathon’ became an official part of the modern Olympic games in 1896, the distance itself being formalised at 42.195 kilometres in 1921.
There are now some 500 marathons run every year worldwide. The Barcelona marathon attracts over 17,000 participants and takes in some of the city’s most emblematic sights making it one of the most popular in the world. Starting at 8.30am from the magic fountain in Montjuïc Park near Plaça España, deadlines for entries for this year’s marathon are on 6 March (www.maratobarcelona.es).
Lucas Fox is immensely proud of its three Olympian runners – Simon Kelly, Adrián Martínez and Helena Carrasco – who’ll be strapping on their trainers on 15th March to raise money for Aldeas Infantiles SOS España. This well-respected charity provides a stable, secure and loving family setting for children who have lost their own families or who cannot live with their biological family for whatever reason. In Spain alone, there are 2.3 million children in need and the Aldea communities mean that children grow up in a nurturing community of SOS parents, sisters and brothers.
The Catalan Aldea (meaning village in Spanish) was the first to open in Spain. Built in 1972 in Sant Feliu de Codines, it remains one of the most important programmes in the region with 80% of all funds going directly to the children. To donate please click here.
We asked our brave runners, how you go about preparing physically and mentally for a run of this magnitude.
LF: Adrian, have you run a marathon before?
AM: No, this is my first marathon ever. Somehow, I was feeling like I was running out of time for many of my sport goals and projects and so I decided: it’s now or never! And this marathon will take place in Barcelona, which is a big plus.
LF: Simon, this is your seventeenth marathon. Why do you do it?
SK: I enjoy the challenge and like pushing myself to do something that’s out of my day-to-day comfort zone. I really enjoy the training too, and as well as keeping you fit I think it’s good for your mind. There’s a buzz in knowing that you’ve achieved something special, and then there’s the actual day, which is always great (especially in Barcelona) with fantastic support all along the route.
LF: Helena, it’s also your first marathon. How have you prepared for it?
HC: According to different studies, preparing for a marathon for a neophyte person should start 6-7 months before the race. It means an enormous effort in terms of workouts, diet and time disciplines. In my case, I got a personal trainer who created a tailored training plan for me. It’s made a big difference in terms of my staying in control of the training, especially not overdoing the power workouts, and it’s essential that 3-4 weeks prior to the race you remain calm and steady. Right now I’m feel prepared to carry it out with no physical or intellectual setbacks. I hope!
LF: Is it a scary prospect?
AM: You have to approach it as something exciting and enriching for you as a human being. Think about how beautiful it is to run in this marvellous city feeling the energy and the support of the runners and the crowd cheering, while pushing your body to the limit until your reach the finish line. Once you cross this line, that feeling of satisfaction is indescribable – sometimes the pain too! What scares me more is an Iron Man race that I’d love to do next year. That will be a big challenge.
SK: If you’ve done the training then it’s probably going to be ok. The last few miles really can be quite tough, but that’s part of it. So tough, yes, but not scary.
HC: Having done last Sunday’s Maratest (the official test marathon) of 30 kilometres and having come in at 34 out of 250 girls with a time of 2 hours 34 minutes the fear is gone. It is true that on that day the distance is longer, but accompanied by all those voices and encouragement and the last section, 30km to 42km, with its acoustic bands, screams and the warmth of the people, you move almost without realising it.
LF: Tell us a bit more about the charity and how can we contribute?
AM: It’s simple. Aldeas Infantiles help children in need around the world live a happier life. To donate is really easy, you just have to click on the link and on “haz tu donación” afterwards. There are only 14 days remaining. Don’t run out of time and please give a little money that won’t change your life, but can make all the difference to somebody else.
HC: Our goal is to raise €1,000 for Aldea SOS. We will discuss it between our team and national and international customers through our various channels of communication but anyone reading this can click on the link to donate. It would be amazing if we could raise much more than our goal.