The Barcelonan athlete, the only Spanish runner to achieve an Olympic medal, will debut in the marathon distance at the next edition of the Zurich Marató de Barcelona.
The ex-athlete María Vasco, specialist in race walking and bronze medalist at the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games in 20 km race walking, announced her participation in the Zurich Marató de Barcelona on March 15th 2015. Born in Barcelona on December 26th 1975, Vasco has been at the top level in the competition until a year ago. All along the last months Vasco has continued with her training and now she is focused in preparing the Zurich Marató de Barcelona, a challenge she had in mind for a long time.
For the organization of the race it is a great honor to be able to count on an athlete of her level who for sure will give prestige to the test and will encourage many runners to face her in a long distance race such as the marathon. This is the opinion of Crtistian Llorens, sporting director of the Zurich Marató de Barcelona: “We’re very pleased that an athlete of her category will debut in this test. We believe it will be a perfect incentive inside the runners’ community and for sure will lure the feminine participation in a long distance race such as the marathon. Moreover, María will be a great help in some promotional events of the test, for example in the training prior to the race that we organize”.
Meanwhile, María Vasco faces this challenge with eagerness: "On the 13th it will be a year since I retired, and I never thought I would put on running shoes and compete again, and here I’m with a new challenge in my hands. I have a lot of respect for the marathon, and it is a long trip that motivates and excites me, especially because it will be in my hometown, in Barcelona. It is very special for me, and besides I feel like I’m in debt with the city because in the European 2010 I wasn’t able to compete due to an injury I suffered in the middle of a competition that forced me to retire. I couldn’t have chosen a better scenario since the Zurich Marató de Barcelona is one of the top European marathons and its growth in recent years has been spectacular. It is an honor for me to debut in this test.
All my life I’ve been wishing it and I had it in mind. I left race walking because it was a phase that I had to close, and although I know that my professional phase is already something of the past, I’m a person who searches everyday new challenges to keep on training. I don’t think I’m going to have a hard time adapting to it since I’m a long-distance athlete, although it’s a change for me and for example, in muscular level you get pains unknown to me. With 37 years I feel like I have just started a working life, but I look back and I feel privileged since I could have never imagined getting here with 5 Olympic Games behind me".