Spanish EVS volunteer registered herself to Tartu Marathon before ever trying on skis
Why did you decide to participate in the Tartu Maraton?
I have heard that the Tartu Maraton is a very special event for the Estonian people and I wanted to participate in activities that are common to Estonians. I heard about Tartu Maraton while participating in a running marathon in Tartu and I instantly decided that I have to register myself to the ski marathon as well (Pilar will participate in the 31 km distance). I actually registered myself to the ski marathon before I even tried on skis for the first time in my life.
Have you ever skied in your life ever before?
No, never. The city in Spain where I come from, Ceuta, there is never snow there. Once I tried to ski in the mountains of Sierra Nevada, but that’s all. Cross country skiing I tried for the first time in Estonia.
And how was it?
Pretty tragical. I didn’t even know how to connect the boots to the skis. I felt quite silly and I had no idea how to move my legs. I just observed what the other skiers are doing and tried to follow.
How do you feel on skis today?
Well, I’m much more comfortable and confident than on the first time. I have skied altogether 5 times in Nõmme and on the last times I skied already 15 – 20 kilometers. I like free style skiing a little more, because classic style is very tiring. You have to have very strong hands. At the end I’m usually pretty beat.
Is someone training you?
No, I train alone. Sometimes I have tried to ask some advice from the other skiers too, but usually they say that their technique isn’t that good either and just slide by. But one time a couple noticed me. They smiled, came along and suggested me to push more with the hips. That tip actually helped a lot.
What are your expectations before the marathon?
I intend to finish. I hope that all the crowd and the fuss will give me some adrenalin and strength and that the feeling will be totally different than on the trainings.
Have you also set a time goal?
I would be happy to finish in about 4,5 to 5 hours. Let’s say that I would like to try to get a time under 4.45.59, then I will have a concrete goal.
What do your colleagues and friends think about the whole idea?
They think I’m crazy, but still support me. MY EVS mentor borrowed me skis so I could practice and participate in the marathon. But my roommate Ragna (EVS volunteer from Germany) decided to come with me to the marathon. Since our work schedules are different we aren’t able to practice together, but to the marathon we are going together.
What do you plan to do after the Tartu Maraton?
I registered myself to the ice-skating marathon in Finland Kuopio. The trace is 50 kilometers, but since I have roller skated before I feel quite confident about that.
Pilar was interviewed by Annika Teder from Centre for Quality and International Cooperation in the Youth field