Between haircuts and brushstrokes applying dyes, a client told him that he was going to sign up for the Tarragona half marathon. Daniel Jiménez (Tarragona; 33 years old) kept the copla and, a Catalan Third Division player as a winger or left winger, was encouraged to run it. “But I didn’t know what I was getting into, I didn’t even know that athletics races were held,” he says, while recalling his first day jogging, which he stayed at 2 kilometers and 960 meters. “But you do have to prepare for 21 kilometers!” The client replied the next day. He gave her so much. He spent two weeks exercising and finished the race as if nothing had happened. That was in 2013 and since then he has not stopped, now with the aim of becoming the youngest boy in Europe to complete 100 marathons, a record now held by Javier Martín Fabiani, who reached 37 in 2010. Since 2015, which was when he ran the first one, Daniel adds 93 and it won’t take long for him to put on his laurel, since since the beginning of the year he has run a marathon a week. Or two, as he plans to do on the first weekend of April, because on Saturday he will compete in the Santa Eulària Ibiza Marathon and on Sunday he will do so in Brighton (England).
Racing for Daniel is showing that, if he sets his mind to it, he can do anything. That is an idea that caught on at the age of 16, when he was left alone in Tarragona because his parents and siblings decided to go live in Ponferrada. “At that time he studied hairdressing in the mornings and at night he worked in the [supermercado] Caprabo”, he recalls; “and now I have my car, my house and my hairdresser”. His name is of course barber career and on the walls of the premises it has all the numbers of the marathons. “In Spain I have been 75, but I have traveled the world and I have seen cities with the excuse of running. He has gone to Portugal, Switzerland, Italy, France, the Czech Republic, Brussels, London and Beirut ”, he lists. And after each and every one of them he does not skip his ritual, a good hamburger.
Although the curious thing about Daniel is that it is his usual diet. “I have not eaten vegetables or fish for 15 years. I eat pasta, pizza, kebabs, hamburgers… ”, he reveals while he stresses that he never gets injured or gets sick. Also, when he runs he doesn’t eat bars, mineral salts or gels either, perhaps an Aquarius, orange and banana if he notices that he lacks a little energy. “But if they gave me 10 more kilometers there would be no problem. At least if I go at a calm pace, ”he resolves. More than anything because for him the important thing is not time, but finishing it, now he sets his record at 3h19m58s. Another thing would be if a brand sponsored him and demanded results.
But that doesn’t happen. “For now Salou tennis helps me, which pays me for the races in exchange for my minimal advertising of 1,200 followers on Instagram. But he called brands and none have helped me. Only 42K running when I did four marathons in four days. And the City Council of my city, for example, doesn’t even know who I am. It is unfortunate, ”she stresses. The aid also comes to him because Daniel, whenever he can, runs for solidarity causes. “Because of childhood cancer I did 13 marathons in 2019, also because of epilepsy…”, he points out. Although he also does it for his mother, who has had two cancers. “But she tells me not to run so much,” he says, amused.
It happens that Daniel, just as he doesn’t take care of himself with his diet, doesn’t prepare for marathons either, since he only goes out for a run one or two days a week and doesn’t do more than five kilometres. “I think I would get bored then,” he explains, as he recalls that he tried triathlon until his bike was stolen. “Now only marathons,” he remarks. And in 27 of them he has played the hare. “This way I feel more relaxed and I really like to help”, he concludes. In fact, in the 100 marathon -he takes out his Excel sheet and lists the ones that are yet to come: Trail in Tarragona, Barcelona, Montauban (France), Ibiza, Brighton, Zaragoza-, in London, he will do a hare at 3h35m. There he hopes that they will give him some slippers as usual, one less expense in the absence of aid. “Being a hare I save registration fees and usually look for the cheapest accommodation,” he agrees.
In love with the Vinyols i Els Arcs marathon (Tarragona) because they usually run it in teams of six people and he is allowed to do it alone, I admit that he would like to run in Chicago, in the one with the 1,000 temples of Burma or the Chinese Wall. “I am aware that I squeeze my body. But there are people who have had knee surgery and have never run, and others who have not stopped and are perfect. But if I have to retire with the marathons I’ve been carrying, it won’t be bad”, he slides while his partner, Sonia, also pushes him to slow down a bit, since he has two small children and it’s his turn to help with home. But, at least, until 100 she will not put the brake on.
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