Today, in "Little Big Stories", we talk to the sportsman José María Martín and his story of personal improvement. It all started back in 2013, when he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis, a disease that affects the immune system and has left him in a wheelchair, but has not prevented him from enjoying his passion for sport and, now, he is taking on the challenge of completing the Gran Canaria-Maspalomas Marathon.
Following your diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 2013, what made you determined to tackle it through sport? What was that step like?
What made me take up sport was that the president of APEM in 2014 told me that there was a guy who was a rally driver, who was in a wheelchair and I met him, he also played basketball and had played professionally. One day I went with him to see what wheelchair basketball was like and I liked it. In 2016 when I got disability I got hooked on BSR and played in a team for 3 years. Now we are making a team in 7 palms with some teammates. We also do adapted sailing, which I am federated with other teammates, and athletics, which I would like to federate, but little by little I am reaching my goals.
What motivates you to run in Maspalomas, José María?
The truth is that I am motivated by the fact that the races are taking place again, and even more so in the current situation.
How do you think the Gran Canaria-Maspalomas Marathon differs from the others?
The big difference is the area, the landscape, the climate, it has to be spectacular. I can imagine.
How many marathons have you run in your life?
Marathon will be the first time. The distance I usually do in races is 10k in a sports wheelchair, but with this break I have accumulated a lot of kilometres.
Could you tell us what other races you have participated in so far?
I have participated in the Night Run 2018 (my first race) and 2019, San Silvestre 2018 and 2019, Cajasiete Maratón 10k 2019, Corriendo por Vegueta 2019 3rd place, Puertos de Las Palmas 2019, Popular El Sebadal 2019, Barberos Solidarios 2019, Canarias7 de las empresas 2019 and 2021, ACCM Maspalomas 2020, Popular Arguineguín 2020 and some others that I can't remember.
How are you going to prepare for this marathon?
I train on my own, Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays for bsr basketball and on Sundays with some mates along Avenida Marítima, until I finish my studies and can train harder.
What is your goal?
My goal will eventually be to try to go to the Paralympics with an athletics chair, of course.
Will you come alone or with your family and friends?
I will be going with some friends and colleagues from the Wheelchair Sports Jackie Sports Club.
What would you say to people who are hesitating to sign up to take the plunge?
That they still have time to prepare and that they should not hesitate too much, that they should sign up.