Desde 1978, un referente en el atletismo internacional ¡Conoce todas las ediciones!

The Author: Miquel Pucurull

Born on December 3th 1938, Miquel Pucurull i Fontova responds to the profile of what we all understand as a popular runner. The grandfather, as many people know him in this world, came into contact with the races of distance in 1979 through an article written by Ramon Oliu, the founder of the Marató de Catalunya, in which he advised how sedentary people had to do it to start running. He was 41 years old, overweight and had stopped playing basketball 12 years ago, his first sport. A few months after starting to train, in March 1980, he dared to run a marathon in the third edition of the Marató de Catalunya, which first took place in the streets of Barcelona.


Since that day he has run 43 marathons and he has completed 41. He has done the Zurich Marató de Barcelona 28 times, first in 1980 and the last one in 2010. His best record in a marathon is 3h14 (Donostia'89), but he also has a mark of 1h25 in half marathon (Sitges'90) and he feels very proud of his 4'54'' in 1,500 meters on track (Saragossa'86). In the Marató de Barcelona, his best mark (3h21) was made on March 18th 1990, the same day that his daughter Elisenda, who was an elite marathoner, won the women's race.

Miquel Pucurull was also one of the initiators of the platform Marató de Barcelona, which was created when the race was discontinued in 2005, and since his return in 2006, he is a member of its Promoting Committee and its Senate.

Download
Ramón Oliu

Ramon Oliu (Cantonigròs 1923 - Hamilton 2005) has been one of the most important leading figures in Catalan athletics. Introducer and promoter of the popular aspect, it is necessary to consider him as the promoter of foot races in Catalonia and throughout the state.

Graduate in chemistry at the University of Barcelona, as a young man he went to the United States to work, where he acquired a very high level of scientific knowledge: Master of Petroleum Engineering and Master of Chemical Engineering among others. In the early seventies, when he was 48, he came to the conclusion that he needed to exercise. He began to do it around his house, and gradually he became a veteran long distance runner, coinciding with the running fever that was occurring in the United States, his adopted country.

He was seduced by the marathon after running the New York marathon in 1976 and, returning to Barcelona next year for work purposes, he wanted to extend the running modality for the pleasure of running. Faced with the surprise and bewilderment of pedestrians, he used to do it wearing shorts in the vicinity of the Palace of Pedralbes at the Diagonal in Barcelona, at a time where runners who did athletics practiced only within the stadiums.

He went to the federation to ask at what time of the year they held the popular marathon in Barcelona. They replied to him that they didn’t held any in Barcelona or anywhere else (only the Spanish Championship for the federated athletes, which was held every year), he then decided that one day soon he would organize it. He got in touch with athletes who never left the few tracks that existed back then, and with the sports leaders who were shocked by his proposals to have foot races through the streets. And so, in 1977 he founded the Comissió Marathon Catalunya , with the help of Raimon Vancells , Jordi Mensa , Francesc Mates and Dr. Pere Pujol , which served to spread throughout Catalonia the advantages of running as a popular runner.

Due to his links with the organizers of the New York Marathon , he got a team of Catalonia, formed by Domingo Catalan, Josep Molins , Fernando Francisco , José Pro and Jordi Jorba, to be invited to participate in the legendary event in the city of the skyscrapers in 1977, where , against all odds, they classified in third place.

The following year (1978 ) he organized the first marathon that took place in the State, in Palafrugell , with 185 athletes. And after two years in a row in the Baix Empordà -in Barcelona it was not possible due to the lack of permissions- he launched the first marathon in the city of Barcelona in 1980.

Endowed with exceptional organizational skills, Ramon Oliu carried out a humongous work to develop amateur athletics in Catalonia: from the creation of the first marathons, to long-distance running, through conferences, lectures, articles, and the publication of a book in 1979 and republished in 1999, "L'Essència del córrer" which was - and remains - a reference for all endurance athletes.

Endowed with exceptional organizational skills, Ramon Oliu carried out a humongous work to develop amateur athletics in Catalonia: from the creation of the first marathons, to long-distance running, through conferences, lectures, articles, and the publication of a book in 1979 and republished in 1999, "L'Essència del córrer" which was - and remains - a reference for all endurance athletes.

As a member of the Sciences Academy in New York, writer, journalist , speaker and pioneer of foot running, Ramon Oliu, paradigm of personal simplicity, considered himself "a popular runner”, and as such he wanted to be recognized.

At the end of his professional career in Catalonia in 1984, he returned to the United States. After 10 years - four years after his retirement- he was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, which was the cause of his death on April 3rd 2005, at age 82.

Photos courtesy Magazine Marathon