Abel Antón: “I think another Abel Antón is very difficult: before we came from nothing”

“I am 61 years old and in one or two years I will hang up my shoes in a marathon,” announced the athlete from Soria.

The two-time marathon world champion will debut this Sunday on a bike with the Aural Team in the Titan Desert in Morocco


The athlete Abel Antón, two-time marathon world champion and Princess of Asturias Sports Award winner, believes that for Spanish athletics to currently find another runner like him or Martín Fiz, members of the ‘Invincible Army’, “it is very difficult”, and announced that “in one or two years” he will hang up his shoes in a marathon in London, Berlin or New York, icons of long-distance events.

“I think another Abel Antón is going to be very difficult. Before we were more suffering athletes, we came from nothing and sport was our life. We had physical abilities that we used very well and we had to succeed because otherwise life would have to be gone the other way. We were sufferers. Today everything is fast, including victory and if they don’t achieve it, they leave,” he commented in an interview with Europa Press.

Concentrated at the Hotel Balneario de Trillo (Guadalajara) with his companions from the ‘Aural Superación’ challenge, promoted by Aural Centros Auditivos, among them the cycling coach Silvia González, an oncology patient, the athlete from Soria is preparing his mountain bike debut in the Titan Desert in Morocco, from April 28 to May 3.

Antón received a call from Virginia Martínez de Murguía, whom he knew as an ambassador of Banco Santander, and the answer was a ‘yes’ to participate in the challenge of accompanying Silvia González to conclude the Titan Desert and give visibility to the fight of the cyclist against the cancer that was diagnosed in 2018.

“They needed an elite athlete to spread the word and they ‘tricked’ me. I really liked Silvia’s project because I empathize with people who have a hard time, and because my wife went through breast cancer 12 years ago.” , argument.

To prepare for ‘the dakar on a mountain bike’, Antón has combined the bike training programmed by his coach Fran Martínez with his calendar of activities and “twenty-odd” races such as the Seville Marathon, the 15K Metlife and, among others, the Madrid Half Marathon.

Since Christmas, I went out on my bike for two days, with 100 kilometers on the GPS, and ran for four days. “But as time has progressed, I have already put in three days. In total, 150 kilometers a week, which is not much, but I think it is enough to get there with a little running in outside of race training,” he explained. the marathoner

From the Titan he knows that he is going to have ‘problems’ with the sand and injuries to his buttocks due to the mixture of heat – temperatures of up to 50 degrees – and the sweat accumulated from long days in the desert. “I have spoken with many professional cyclists and they tell me that, due to the physique, there will be no problem being able to endure and I will take all measures to mitigate these injuries,” she said.


Ambassador of the hearing solutions company Aural since 2005, when he repeated the Berlin Marathon that he had already won almost a decade before (1996), the man from Soriano convinced its CEO, Nacho Martínez, to share the Titan challenge. “Nacho really likes sports and I proposed the idea to him and he said: ‘Go ahead,'” he recalled.

In the long preparation sessions, Antón said that the loneliness of the cyclist ‘weighs’ him more than that of the runner. “Training four hours or four and a half hours on a bike seems a little heavy to me. The long-distance runner can do 30 kilometer runs, but you only spend two hours, and it’s not the same,” he compared.

In his opinion, athletics is “harder” than cycling because when he competed in a marathon he couldn’t run another one “in three months.” “And when you do a cycling stage the next day you go out, although running the Tour or La Vuelta is 21 days and that is harder than a marathon. But the marathon destroys much more, it wears out a lot due to the impact with the ground and in you last longer on the bike,” he stressed.

The ‘wall’ of the marathon comes, according to him, to everyone, at kilometers 33, 34 or 35, due to muscle wear. “Those remaining kilometers are of suffering and when you fight to win you have the pain, but you overcome it because you have that motivation and adrenaline of victory,” he explained.

The two-time marathon world champion admitted to being proud to be, along with his friend Martín Fiz and other athletes like Chema Martínez, one of the main promoters of the explosion of running in Spain. “I think we have created a school because when we won and for eight years we were practically the best marathoners in the world, people admired and feared us. They called us the ‘Invincible Army’ and they were very good years for the marathon and Spanish athletics,” he recalled. .

In this sense, he considered that the rivalry between Martín Fiz and him “was good” for athletics because it filled newspaper pages, attracted advertising contracts from brands specialized in athletics and “many people started running” following the example of the Vitorian and Soriano.


Antón does not like to be a fortune teller, but he recalled that he was always one of those who bet that, “by logic” and “mathematics”, human beings could lower the mythical two-hour barrier in the 42.195 kilometer test. .

“If they set the world record with 57 minutes in the half marathon, why aren’t they going to do 59 and 59 in a marathon and go under two hours? I think it is possible and that, perhaps, it will take us a little longer because one “One of those who could do it was (the deceased) Kiptum, who was going to beat him at any moment. There are other athletes who, in a couple or three years, will go below two hours,” he predicted.

As an ambassador for Banco Santander, the Ponle Freno, Zurich, Joma or Aural race, the man from Soriano travels across the map of athletic Spain throughout the course. “When am I going to hang up my shoes? In one or two years I want to do my last marathon. It is a very hard test and you have to think about it a lot. I am 61 years old and at 62 or 63 I am considering my last marathon, it could be perfect,” advertisement.

The place chosen for that milestone can be London, Berlin or New York. “Finishing in one of those ‘big ones’ would be the best, and surrounded by all the people who normally come with me. A prediction for the Paris Games? I think that with the march we will have two almost certain medals with María and Álvaro “I see the marathon as very difficult, but with heat and humidity anything can happen,” he said hopefully.

Meanwhile, Antón has left his Jomas parked in the storage room for the Mondraker with which he will cross the Moroccan desert with the Aural Team. The asphalt now changed into stones and the sand of the Erg Chebbi dune range. The marathon for the marathon stage, where he will face the sleeping bag and the fatigue of air currents on his back. “I’m ready, I have a motor,” said the double world champion marathoner.