Chema Martínez: “It is wonderful that races are resurfacing”

Chema Martínez (Madrid, 49 years old) was the last Spanish winner of the Madrid Marathon, in 2008. On Sunday he will compete in the media and is excited about the return of athletics to the streets. He tells it in AS.

How do you rate the return of the Madrid Marathon?

There has been such a big stoppage in popular races and everything has been so complicated worldwide, that it is wonderful to see racing resurface. Besides, I’m from Madrid and this is the marathon that I won. I’m very happy that everything is coming back and people are getting rid of the bad feelings they had.

You will run the average, how does it look?

I am recovering from a ‘machado’ in Iceland, where I was running last week. But I come with charged batteries. My level is not what I would like, although I am not bad and I am really looking forward to it, even though it is not in the most optimal form. In any case, running through the streets of Madrid is the best battery recharge. I run in the most popular event and I will be one of the 15,000 that will be in it.

As an ambassador for ‘running’, you will be delighted …

That it is possible to run again, to compete, to have goals and enthusiasm to share stories with everyone is magnificent. It was necessary to take a first step and it has cost, but everything is being channeled. There are no longer so many obstacles and normality is restored.

13 years have passed since his triumph, he will have great memories.

Wasn’t it a couple ago? Sure? (jokes). How time passes, but I keep thinking about my arrival at Paseo de Carrdamientos in first position feeling the affection of the people. I will never forget it and it is part of my motivation, to run through the streets of my city.

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What would have to happen for another Spaniard to win the marathon?

It is very complicated, first because of the number of athletes from Africa and from all over the world who run at an incredible level. And because the Spanish would need to prepare this test as the great objective of the year, and that is very difficult. The best ones focused on the Games. Today to beat people from Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda… it is almost impossible.

Which compatriots of yours do you stand out?

Our marathoners get caught by this race too early, too close to the Games. This is the case of Ayad Lamdassem, who will prepare for next year’s World Cup. There are good people like him or Javi Guerra, already veterans, and other younger ones like Dani Mateo or Carlos Mayo, which for me is one of the great bets for the future and the 10K is going to run here. I am happy with the level of the Spanish marathoners.

You who do not stop, what projects do you have in mind?

In principle, running this weekend and at this point in my life, I do not set very long-term goals, because I live more in the present. I have to recover, and after this race, I will compete in Logroño, in another media. And then I will stop to see what challenges stimulate me for a 2022 that I will face already with 50 years, but with great enthusiasm.

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