We all have heroes in our eyes; those individuals who, for one reason or another, represent a pinnacle of achievement to which the rest of us mortals can only aspire.
One such hero is the Paralympic athlete Heinz Frei (above (right) with Rafa Botello) who is considered to be the greatest Paralympic athlete the world has ever known, with three gold Paralympic Marathons to his name.
For our friend, Paralympic athlete and Lanzarote International Wheelers Marathon 2012 organiser Rafa Botello, Heinz Frei has long been an idol. For some time he has also been a fellow competitor, most notably at the London 2012 Paralympic games where Frei won gold in the Individual H2 Time Trials and bronze in the Mixed Team Relay. So imagine Rafa’s joy when Heinz declared his intention to participate in the Lanzarote Wheelers Marathon 2012.
Already considering the field of competitors this year to have some truly exceptional athletes in it, Rafa had this to say about his friend and hero’s decision to participate:
“Heinz Frei in the Lanzarote Marathon!
The great Heinz Frei has confirmed his presence on the island of Lanzarote. The best athlete in the history of wheelchairs, with over 120 victories in marathons including Berlin 17 times; Oita 14 times; Los Angeles, London, Paris… the current World Marathon and 100 km record holder, more than 12 gold medals in Paralympics and the idol of hundreds of wheelchair runners, will be running through the streets of the island on December 9.
As organizer, I can say only say that this is an amazing achievement. Heinz has only ever run in our country in the Paralympics in Barcelona and the half marathon in Sitges, so to be able to include my island in that list is a source of immense pride for me personally and a historic milestone for this marathon which, in the coming years, promises to become one of the most important in Europe.
You’re not going to miss this, are you?”
How often do you get a chance, not only to meet your hero but to run alongside him?
On December 9th, we can all be heroes, just for one day.