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Ana is making her debut in the Valencia Marathon this year; Tato is facing his seventh contest in the City of Running. Two lives, two realities, and the same challenge. This is how they are living the challenge with SPORCKS.

December. Valencia. Marathon. The Valencia event has set a new standard, becoming the pride of a city that is emerging as a pole of attraction for the international running community.

There is something about this race and this city (the City of Running for many years now) that makes people watch the post-summer months in view of completing the challenge that the 42,097-meter marathon represents, and which can more than hold its own against the Majors.

The dream of crossing the lagoon of the City of Arts and Sciences over its blue walkway attracts more and more amateur athletes every year. In 2022, 30,000 runners will meet once again at the starting line to feel their heartbeats start racing to the chords of “Libre” by Nino Bravo.

Many stories, dreams, and promises uniting in a mixture of emotions that are always associated with a person’s name. At SPORCKS, we will take a look at two stories. Ana’s and Tato’s. A beginner with all her hesitations, hopes and fears, and a Vietnam veteran who cannot conceive of starting the Christmas season without heating up on first weekend of December on the tumultuous streets of the City of Running.

Ana is a doctor, and she hated running when she was a child. Now she is counting down the hours to her first marathon. Sports have been around at home: tennis, skiing, soccer… The Medical Licensing Examination brought this doctor to Valencia, where she got caught in the City of Running’s snare.

Enrolled in the ranks of the massive Redolat Team, Ana is counting down the hours to putting on her race bib and running 22 kilometers through Valencia. The big moment arrives, and your mind cannot rest. Fears? Pressure? Happiness? Emotions run high, but there’s something inside us that tells us we’re ready.

“Valencia is the city where I got caught by the sport, and that’s why I wanted to run the marathon here. After my first half marathon, six more came, and I decided to make a jump to the big-time distance. The atmosphere that people experience in the city is incredible, and I wanted to feel it,” says Ana.

Tato Aguilera is a war veteran. He runs with 365Rider and is facing his ninth marathon, his sixth in Valencia. 2.39:34 is his record time in the race. The years and the training sessions go by, but his passion for Valencia remains.

“I’ve been able to race in several places, but Valencia is special. The atmosphere, knowing that you’re running at home, in front of your family and friends… it’s an indescribable feeling. Also, the circuit is perfect for pushing yourself hard. It’s a marathon, but in Valencia you know you can give it your all,” he confesses.

A few days before the big start.

There are days left before the big start, and some ghosts appear. It has been months of hard work. Although it is true that the weather, as nearly always in Valencia, has cooperated, all those kilometers can weigh you down. You don’t always feeling like doing series training, and above all, there are lots of hours spent alone. The plan is made, but fears arise. The mental battle has begun.

“The training sessions… well, some went better than others. I’ve had small injuries and pains that I didn’t expect. Balancing them with my work shifts has been difficult, more than I expected,” says Ana, with some resignation.

“Welcome to the club!” replies Tato, a businessman and father of two children.

The moment the race starts is already projected in Ana’s mind: “My parents and my brothers are going to be there, and that motivates me, but I know that uncertainty and nerves are going to show up. The truth is that I like that moment, with its shot of adrenaline, waiting for them to give the starting signal. It’s a mixture of nerves and fear… Will I be able to finish? It’s the big question that’s assailing me.”

“Have no doubt that you’ll manage it. It’s a lot of hours, but the day of the race is the day for enjoying it, especially in your debut. You’ve carried out your plan, and your race bib will give you wings. You have a plan, so stick with it. The worst thing is getting here, and now it’s time to enjoy it,” replies Tato, whom the blue carpet of the City of Art knows perfectly well.

Valencia is the goal

“I’m not aiming for a great finishing time. I want to run a good race, enjoy every moment, enjoy the people… I only ask my head for it to let me enjoy all of that”. Ana assumes that the 42 kilometers will be no walk in the park, but she hopes her goal is clear to her.

“To have fun. I’m not asking for more. The marathon is a sacrifice, but it’s like a ‘little bug’ inside you that gets you moving after the summer, and you can’t shut it off. I’ve experienced all kinds of things after my nine starts, and now I hope to have a good time. The feeling of hugging Paco and Vega after crossing the finish line is better than any possible finishing time.” This is how Tato talks, this is how a marathon runner talks. December 4th is the date. Ana and Tato are ready, and this is how they have shown us their experiences in SPORCKS. Stories about the marathon, about Valencia, and about life, that we are certain will have the best possible ending. We have activated marathon mode.

Swiss 11-time IRONMAN champion Ronnie Schildknecht’s cycling prowess has won him a cabinet full of trophies, including nine IRONMAN Switzerland victories. But now he’s back in the saddle with his eyes on a different prize – education for some of South Africa’s most impoverished children – and harnessing the power of online fundraising on GivenGain to get over the line. 

On August 14, a peloton of fundraisers led by Ronnie, sporting real or fake moustaches, will ride more than 50km around Zurich in his annual Les Moustaches bike ride. All money raised will go to Qhubeka, a charity that gives bicycles to poor communities in South Africa to help their children get to school.

For the event’s third edition this year, Ronnie is aiming to raise €20,000 – enough for 100 bikes. But while Les Moustaches is now a carefully planned event complete with uniforms and corporate sponsorship, it didn’t start out that way.

“Starting Les Moustaches was really spontaneous. We were in the training camp, and we thought ‘let’s just shave’,” recalls Ronnie. “So we looked a little funny riding around with just a moustache. And then I thought, why don’t we do this for a good cause? So that’s how it came about. It’s all about having fun, but still remembering that there are other people who don’t have what we have.”

Pedal power

In Zurich, it’s easy to take local schools for granted. But in rural areas in South Africa, where the nearest school can be several hours away on foot, a Qhubeka bicycle can mean the difference between a child attending class and missing out on an education.

“I first linked up with Qhubeka after doing a double century ride in South Africa,” says Ronnie. “The money from the event went to them, so the day after the race we went to see what they were doing with it, and that’s how I got involved. I met these young kids there and I gave one kid a bike and he was so happy. Being a cyclist myself, I’ve seen where a bike can take you.”

To date, Qhubeka has supplied more than 75,000 bikes to communities across South Africa, helping not only schoolchildren but also healthcare workers and disaster relief first responders. The charity also trains local mechanics to assemble and repair the bicycles and builds supply chains for spare parts. 

Racing ahead

With less than a month to go, Les Moustaches 2021 has entered the final stretch to its fundraising goal. Participants have now contributed over €17,000 through the event’s GivenGain page, putting the finish line in sight. However, Ronnie is already looking ahead to next year – and hoping to make an even bigger difference for the communities Qhubeka serves.

“The first ride in 2019, we had about 40 people take part,” he says. “This year we’ll have 80. But I think it’s just the beginning. It could be something which you can do globally – maybe a ride in Australia or the US. We’ve also thought about doing a virtual event online.”

Armed with the power of online fundraising and his platform as an IRONMAN champion, Ronnie is well placed to reach out to fundraisers and donors around the world and make an even bigger impact. Turning Les Moustaches into a fundraising force has also taught him a lot about how best to run a fundraising campaign.

“My advice is to do something close to your heart, because then you’ve got motivation,” says Ronnie. “After that, fundraising needs patience and persistence. I contact people again and again – not in a pushy way, but you have to make sure because they have their lives going on and sometimes they forget. If I don’t do anything, or if I just put my fundraising page up, nothing happens.”

“Then on top of that, you have to make it easy. That’s why GivenGain is so good – everybody can donate, they can pay by credit card or app, I can give everybody a tax certificate. It’s very simple.”

To find out more about event fundraising on GivenGain, contact clara@givengain.com.

 

 

El post de hoy lo queremos dedicar a nuestro último acuerdo de patrocinio, ya que esta temporada seremos official sponsor del ITZU TRI TEAM.

El equipo fue fundado en 2017 en Bélgica y liderado por Koen Janssen, uno de los fundadores de la compañía ITZU. Sin lugar a dudas, es uno de los equipos referencia tanto en Ironman como en Ironman 70.3.

Tras compartir una comida con su fundador en tierras alicantinas, supimos que éste equipo cumpliría con nuestras expectativas y sobre todo, con nuestros valores. Decidimos meternos de lleno en este proyecto y ser nosotros los encargados de sus calcetines para esta temporada pero también de la producción de su video promocional durante su training camp en Lanzarote (10-17 febrero).

¡Aquí es donde empieza realmente la aventura! Embarcamos los 4, Carlos y Oscar encargados de los aspectos técnicos y Alex y yo (Jorge) de coordinar toda la producción, en un vuelo con destino Lanzarote aterrizando la madrugada del lunes. Aún así todavía teníamos que preparar todo el equipo técnico para la cita que teníamos con el ITZU TRI TEAM la mañana siguiente a las 7:30AM en la piscina_MG_1286
El martes 12 de febrero amanecemos en Sands Beach antes de las 7:00AM y ya nos encontramos a Oscar y Carlos tomando planos recurso al amanecer con su dron sobre el mar.

Llegamos a la piscina central de Sands Beach, donde habíamos quedado con Koen y todo su equipo; Saleta Castro, Martijn Dekker, Colin Norris, Kenneth Vandendriessche, Amber Rombaut, Ruben Geys y el Coach Luc Van Lierde. Además, también estaba esperándonos nuestro amigo James Mittchel.

Nos presentamos a todos los integrantes del club y mi socio Alex, es quien dice unas palabras para introducir nuestra marca, nuestra misión dentro del equipo y la idea que tenemos para el video promocional. Mientras, Oscar y Carlos desenfundan todos sus “gadgets” para empezar con la grabación.

_MG_1383A las 10:00h nos toca cargar pilas en el buffet y plantear la salida en bici para poder

coger todos los planos que necesitamos y evitar vías con mucho tráfico. Finalmente decidimos ir en dirección a Tinguaton haciendo un par de paradas técnicas con el fin de sacar unos planos detalle. Cerramos la jornada de rodaje matutino en Mai Tai comiendo junto a la piscina y a 22 grados.

_MG_1430Todavía nos quedaba la última sesión del día y constaba de una carrera a pie suave en torno al famoso triangulo de Sands Beach mientras atardecía. Esos planos tenían una pinta impresionante y después de haber visto el resultado final, no era para menos.

Aquí os dejamos el video final y esperamos que os guste tanto como a nosotros.

Atrás quedaron los días en los que nos poníamos una camiseta cualquiera, unos pantalones cortos y con poco más nos íbamos a entrenar. La llegada de los relojes GPS, la aparición de nuevos materiales técnicos, bidones ergonómicos que se ajustan a la palma de tu mano, auriculares bluetooth y así, un sinfín de complementos que hacen nuestros entrenamientos, cuanto menos, más profesionales.

Pero… ¿Qué pasa con nuestros calcetines? ¿Son menos importantes? O simplemente se nos acaba el presupuesto con otro tipo de complementos. Por eso hoy voy a hablaros de los aspectos técnicos a tener en cuenta a la hora de hacerse con unos buenos calcetines técnicos de running.

  1. Ajuste perfecto: Una vez puesto el calcetín es muy importante que no queden arrugas a simple vista, que se adapten a tu pie como un guante ya que así evitaremos rozaduras y ampollas.
  1. Materiales técnicos 100%: Existen infinitas marcas registradas de tejidos técnicos. Las más conocidas para el sector deportivo son Meryl® y Coolmax@ cada una con unas características muy particulares y que combinadas entre ellas dan lugar al calcetín perfecto. Sin duda éste es el punto clave para mantener el pie fresco y seco durante más tiempo.
  2. 0% algodón: Piensa que el algodón absorbe el sudor de tu piel y no lo evacúa al exterior, sino que lo retiene siempre contigo. Entonces genera una fricción con tu piel muy desagradable que desemboca en ampollas y creeme, esto no es recomendable para nadie.
  1. Apoyo en la planta del pie: A todos nos gustan los calcetines muy muy finitos pero hay que tener cuidado en este aspecto. Para los deportes de alto impacto, como el running (al menos para los entrenamientos y carreras de larga distancia), es importante buscar un calcetín con amortiguación y apoyo en la planta del pie. Esto se consigue añadiendo rizo en zonas estratégicas del pie (planta, talón y puntera). Además te ayudará a evitar abrasiones en estas zonas.
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  1. Soporte en el arco del pie: Cuando compramos un calcetín de vestir vemos que no tiene prácticamente goma y que es muy holgado, pero a la hora de entrenar es conveniente que tenga una muy buena goma en la zona del arco del pie ya que así reduce la fatiga y mejora el rendimiento durante un mayor tiempo.
  1. Compresión: Se ha hablado mucho de la compresión, en running es un aspecto importante pero siempre que se maneje con cuidado. No es cierto que cuanto más comprima sea mejor. El calcetín ha de tener cierto margen de maniobra en la zona de la caña para que permita libertad en los movimientos del pie zancada tras zancada. Es importante que se note en su sitio, pero no que estrangule.
  1. Prohibido estrenar en competición: Repite conmigo “nunca estrenaré unos calcetines en competición”. No tiene porque pasar nada, pero puedes tirar al traste muchas horas de entrenamiento y no es cuestión. Si te ves muy apurando, anda con ellos un rato y es importante que los laves por primera vez.
  1. Diseño: Esto no está estudiado por ninguna universidad, pero a nuestro modo de entender un calcetín con un diseño llamativo ayuda a entrenar y aporta ese extra de motivación que necesitas.

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Your garments should be as good as your trainings

10 IMPORTANT DETAILS:

  1. Composition: Fibers should be soft, breathable and moisture wicking.
  2. Flexible and light: Allows high performance during workouts.
  3. Resistant: Keep high consistency on fabric performance over time.
  4. Moisture wicking: Garments with COOLMAX® are inherent in the structure itself.
  5. Washfast: Reduce dryer use.
  6. No pilling: Yarns should avoid pilling effect without giving up its incredible touch.
  7. Comfort: Should be the first priority.
  8. Perfect fit: Natural elasticity allowing best freedom of movement.
  9. Non-erosive: Keep your skin free of blisters.
  10. Design: Dress-up with style and joy the motor of your life.

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