RaceRunner Times Monday 5th of July
The 14th international camp has begun and the first edition of the RaceRunner Times is ready from the press. On the newsdisk we look forward to once again to deliver brand new news and in depth articles.
This year we will present one or two of the participating countries in each issue of RaceRunner Times – first up are Portugal.
Interview with Cristina Marques, RaceRunner coordinator in Portugal.
Portuguese athletes have participated in RaceRunners Sports Camp every year since 2007. The Portuguese RaceRunning coordinator Cristina Marques has been here each time to support the athletes and learn more about RaceRunning training methods.
At the moment there are about 20 active RaceRunners in Portugal. Since last years camp the number of athletes hasn’t changes much. Cristina believes that RaceRunning has got potential to grow in Portugal, but stresses that the sport faces several challenges: “Right now the biggest problem is to provide enough RaceRunners – if we haven’t got any RaceRunners to sell we can not develop the sport”. Cristina has tried to contact both Petra by Connie Hansen and Jørgens Cykler to get the import started, but has not received any response.
Providing RaceRunners isn’t the only problem. Paying for transportation can also cost trouble. “In Portugal there are five RaceRunning clubs. This year at the national championship only four clubs was able to participate – one didn’t have enough money to go to Lisbon” Cristina
Getting the parents involved
According to Cristina Portuguese parents have got a passive approach to RaceRunning, compared to the support she is experiencing Denmark: “Here we see mothers and fathers. In Portugal only technicians and trainers support the athletes in training and competitions. It’s a habit. They have been use to the government taking care of things since their children were one year old”. For the sport to develop the culture need to change, and the parents need to help out in training and transportation “They have to get involved because the intervention of the government is getting smaller and smaller”
Solving the problems
On Thursday Cristina is meeting the new RaceRunner producer Iversen Cykler. Hopefully Iversen Cykler will show great initiative and help getting the Portuguese import started – and thereby solving the main challenge of Portuguese RaceRunning
A portrait of John Henri.
This year, The Faroe Islands are represented by one athlete, John Henri. John is 22 years old, classified as RR2 and comes from Klarksvik on the Faroe Islands. It has been six months since he tried the Race Runner for the first time, and since then, he has been at the Egmont School, where he hasn’t been able to exercise the sport. Though there are RaceRunners at the Egmont School, it is not possible to adjust them and because of that, he is still new in the sport.
Nevertheless he has managed to keep fit by exercising a hand bike and also a normal bike, to get his legs strengthened. The fact that he has kept fit, was very clear during the exercise today, where he completed a 400-meters run. That was an excellent performance, because it is the very first time that he has been able to run on an adjusted RaceRunner.
John Henri has earlier played Boccia, but now he prefers RaceRunning because of the intensity that the sport implies. “In RaceRunning, its up to one self, what you want to achieve – and you don’t depend on others” He says, and continues: “I am a very persistent person. If I set a goal for myself, I won’t quit, before I have achieved it.”
When John returns to the Faroe Islands, he will have the possibility to exercise 30 minutes drive away from Klarksvik. RaceRunning got his attention, when he was contacted by Meibritt Wolles Djurhuss.
The fact that the sport can be so tough fascinated him. There are especially three things, which John enjoys about RaceRunning: “You have to endure in situations, where you can’t bear it any longer, and then you get an adrenalin kick, by proceeding. At the same time, you constantly have to concentrate on staying in your lane.” At the same time, RaceRunning gives John the opportunity to use his entire body which he describes as: “It is fantastic to fee that my legs are fully extended on the RaceRunner.”
A pattern emerges of John as a focused athlete, and he emphasizes that RaceRunning is all about motivation: “If you don’t have the motivation, then you might as well quit right away.”
That he is focused and motivated is also reflected in his participation in the European Championship and the Cup. Though it is John’s first competition, he is enrolled in both 40, 60, 100, 400 and 800 meter disciplines.
After the camp, John will be returning to the Egmont School. Here, he will be set for high speed RaceRunning exercise, every day. That has become possible, since today, where he got his own RaceRunner. When questioned about the best thing about RaceRunning, John replies: “The intensity is the best thing about RaceRunning”.
RaceRunning on the Faroe Islands
RaceRunning is a new sport on the Faroe Islands. The sport started just before the 2009 Camp where the Faroe Islands, like this year, were participating with one athlete. The delegation from the Faroe Islands bought three RaceRunners when they returned from the 2009 Camp. But because of the approaching winter the RaceRunning activities were on a halt until March this year where another two bikes were bought.
There are a total of four active athletes who has the possibility to train on two different stadiums. One stadium is located in the capital Thorshavn while the other is located on Ostero, which is the second largest island. Even though the sport of RaceRunning is new on the Faroe Islands, they have already held two competitions during the spring.
Disability sport is organized in the ISB, which is responsible for all disability sport activities on the Faroe Islands. In general ISB is very positive towards RaceRunning. The ISB have given full economic support for the acquisition of RaceRunner bikes, but no funds towards trainers. Thus the future goals for RaceRunning on the Faroe Islands are to expand and strengthen the sport with a special focus on trainers. Because there are currently not enough funds to have paid coaches a possibility is to invite a trainer from Denmark to educate and share knowledge with the Faroe organizers. Currently volunteers, helpers and families of the athletes, manage the training but they need more knowledge regarding training and exercises as well as adjustment and proper alignment of the bikes.
Another challenge for RaceRunning on the Faroe Islands is that each athlete does not have that many personal helper hours, which leads to difficulty transporting the athletes to and from the islands. Even though there is a lack of helpers, the motto is to look and focus on the possibilities instead of the limitations. That is also why the overall picture of RaceRunning in the Faroe Islands is positive. The sport has undergone a massive evolution in just one year and there is hope that the Faroe Islands will be participating with two athletes to the 2011 Camp.