10 de March de 2022
Sport as a voice for those who need it most
Last year, in the Zurich Marató Barcelona, Eric Domingo achieved the Guinness World Marathon Record for pushing a wheelchair. In that chair was his mother, Silvia, who has multiple sclerosis. They crossed the marathon finish line in 2:53 hours, beating the previous record.
This great runner wanted to give visibility to the disease and also he has created a solidarity challenge on the crowdfunding platform Migranodearena where he raised funds for research into this illness. We interviewed Eric to find out what led him to this feat and what his goals were.
What are the reasons why you always like to link solidarity challenges with sport?
Basically, because sport is my life, my passion, and the values of sport are my own. It is the way I have lived the best experiences of my life, where I have met the most important people in my life, and it is what makes me disconnect from the world, and even reconnect to it. It’s like a universal language and, above all, because sport is for me inclusive. That’s why linking my passion with solidarity challenges is something that has to go hand in hand.
Can you tell us a bit about what you are looking for when you set yourself a challenge?
In my particular case, on the one hand, the main thing is to give visibility to Multiple Sclerosis and to help with research, therapies, and aid for those who are affected. On the other hand, but no less important, in the end, I do it all for my mother. So, my aim is that she will be able to enjoy it as much as possible because it is for her. Moreover, I want her to feel that she is running, feeling free and happy. Furthermore, what I look for is to motivate and try to inspire as many people as I can to set goals, to look for their cause. If we can help in some way anyone affected by this disease and their families and friends, it makes it worthwhile.
What have your most notable achievements been?
Everything I do running while pushing my mother’s wheelchair. It’s true that we are known for breaking the Guinness World Record in the marathon for pushing a wheelchair, and it’s pretty much the most remarkable thing we’ve ever done, so far.
Last year at the Zurich Marató Barcelona, you achieved the Guinness World Record for running a marathon in less than 3 hours by pushing a wheelchair. Tell us about the experience.
For all that came before, for the reasons that led us to do it at home and on that date, and for all the repercussions it had. It was the perfect day. Nothing went wrong. Everything went perfectly. About the atmosphere, the public, the rest of the runners and the friends who accompanied us… All of that made it an unforgettable experience and difficult to repeat. It was the best run of my life because it went just as we planned, and most importantly, my mother enjoyed it from start to finish. It felt even a bit short.
You carried out a crowdfunding campaign through the Fundación Migranodearena platform. What do you think were the keys to the success of your fundraising?
The main reason was the involvement of so many people who wanted to share the campaign in order to reach as many people as possible. The solidarity of all of them and the desire to give it visibility in a totally disinterested way were essential to the success of the fundraising. We were very lucky because in our environment, and thanks to social networks, the campaign even reached other countries. On the other hand, the great work of the Fundació Esclerosi Múltiple in terms of communication and support was also crucial to reaching even more people with the campaign.
What would you say to the runners to encourage them to create solidarity challenges and or, besides, to run for supporting a cause?
That they should have no doubts or fears about creating a solidarity challenge. Even if they have low expectations, few resources to achieve certain fundraising or that not achieving the expected amount of money will be frowned upon or something like that. They know the benefits of creating solidarity challenges, not only for the money raised, but also for giving visibility to causes and foundations, and even for motivating and inspiring those affected by the causes. It is true that fundraising is sometimes complicated, but we have seen that solidarity has no borders. There are always countless people willing to help.
What are your next goals, and will you link them to solidarity achievements as well?
As I have been saying since the Record, at a competitive level, there are more distances and times to beat, and there are many places (cities, countries, continents) to cover. All the great challenges will always be linked to solidarity achievements, because one thing drives the other. If we do what we do, it is to help in any way we can.
Congratulations Eric! Keep going forward with that spirit and desire to make life better for those who need it the most.