The pharmacist who prepares the World Cup at 54
Nicolás de las Heras is an Asturian who prepares the 24-hour World Cup running nonstop on October 26-27 in France. It averages 180 km a week and is not afraid of excesses. “The day I got the decline there will be no problem. I will know how to get away. ”
His father, 85, has just lived a life-and-death operation. His 18-year-old daughter has gone to Madrid to study Pharmacy and, although it is the law of life, she misses her in Aviles. They could be any of the two ideals to dedicate this next adventure, although it could also be the youngest daughter, the 14-year-old daughter, the one who runs at Atlético Avilesina, who, without being one of the best, goes crazy with happiness every Once you improve your brand (even just a second).
And the father sees her and takes an example, how beautiful this is.
The father is Nicolás de las Heras, a 54-year-old pharmacist who works in Grado (Asturias) that gives 45 beats per minute at rest and that the day you have to put a knee prosthesis, if that day arrives, no he will apologize to the operating room or the excesses he made running: "I lived as I wanted to live," he will say.
And he will wake up saying again, “what I experienced was a gift”, as he just said as soon as he finished this photo shoot in the pharmacy in uniform with the Spanish team's suit.
He, who at the age of 12 or 13 began canoeing, training six days a week, becoming a Spanish C-2 team champion or realizing that so much effort could be achieved with the effort ... And he is Nicolás de las Heras, the man who started running at age 44 and today, at age 54, refers to self-love as another part of his passport.
How beautiful, I insist. Because life is also made of these things.
That said, I tell you that today is Friday night and that tomorrow Nicolás will get up at a quarter to six in the morning with supreme obedience. “I will do a 60-kilometer training with my friend Manu, the road from Oviedo to Covagonda running at 95% and then we will return by train. We will return home at 5 or 6 in the afternoon. ”
But Nicolás prepares an extreme test: the 24-hour World Cup running on October 26 and 27 in Albi, the episcopal city of France in which the first thing that occurs to me is to think about patience.
- If it's almost impossible to sleep 24 hours in a row, I don't even want to think what it should be to endure 24 hours running -I explain.
But then he, Nicolas de las Heras, disputes that no. That there is no escape. That last year already ran the European Timisoara (Romania). That he was fourth and that he became the first Spaniard in history to pass the 250 km in 24 hours and that he felt on the Olympus of the gods when he reached the goal. He looked at the sky and fell to the ground. He had left 257,740 kilometers behind, at an average of 5.33 / km.
After listening to him, it is no longer necessary for science to prove it to me. "It's just the proof that it can be done," he argues, "because I don't have two hearts or three lungs."
I will also hear him tell that, "except once to pee", he did not stop running even once in 24 hours. And it was not easy, “because the last hour and a half became so long that I did not see the end. I could not see the kilometers moving forward and the legs seemed to creep. ” But then he not only remembered what he always says ("the limits of the human body are yet to be discovered"), but also of the message that Cova, his eldest daughter, had written to him early in the morning, inheriting the phrase that He always tells them when they have an exam. "If it's worked, it has to go out," the girl told him.
Nicolás smiled then and was moved as only men who believe in what they do get excited. And he wanted to think, "this is already done," which perhaps made him infallible.
It was important. For him, for Nicolás de las Heras, in reality, all this is important. And that's what matters.
In addition, running these distances, he has discovered that We should never turn our backs on hope. That life gives us moments like that 85-year-old father of his, operated urgently after an aneurysm in the aorta that they already considered lost and that today is already at home, in Aviles, where that same man arrived one day from Riaza (Segovia) from many years ago to make a living. He set up a clothing store in Asturias that was a success.
And it would not be easy. But this is the key to life. Perhaps it is preferable to be difficult, but deserve it. And, in his search, Nicolás de las Heras averages between 160 and 180 kilometers a week. And enjoy them. And he doesn't regret it. And sometimes a bath is stuck in the cold water of Salinas beach. And he combines it with a public-facing job in the pharmacy. And with the guards. And with those three daughters, who are already three teenagers. And with a woman, his who, when he met him, at 32, had never expected this. "I liked sports, but I didn't like running," he explains.
However, one day he went to a mountain race and, from there, nothing was the same again.
Discovered to that inhabitant domiciled within us that took root in him: self-love.
Then, the sport has transformed his body that, at 54, is twelve kilos finer than the teenager who marched, at 17, to study Pharmacy at the University of Santiago de Compostela. I wanted to be a pharmacist: you never know why. But since 1992 he runs the same pharmacy with his sister in Grado (Asturias), 30 kilometers from Aviles, Working for the public is already part of your personality, such as running or living.
In the end, everything we like is surely worth it. But the important thing is to arrive on time and even live your first concentration with the teammates of the Spanish team at age 54 as it has happened to him: Nicolas de las Heras.
It was a few days ago in Segovia, where he introduced himself saying: "I am a 54 year old."
Later, they saw the enthusiasm with which he went out to train and kept the secret. "My aging didn't start suddenly," he explains now. “But I know that the decline will come and it won't take long. But then I will know how to move away and I will not regret what I did. ” And who knows which of his three daughters will write the following message: he who will definitely convince Nicolás de las Heras that everything is possible.