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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Manu Merillas, the runner who lived alone in a caravan in an abandoned town in Leon and found love

For three years he lived in four square meters without TV or coverage. I met another mountain on an excursion and they have just become parents. His style is peculiar: He runs with a Casio, a backpack, and some walking sticks that he makes himself. This Thursday is one of the favorites in UTMB’s shortest race, ‘only’ 56 kilometers

Merillas, in one of his training sessions.Jose Miguel Muojoscarpa
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Manu MerillasA mountain runner, who is injured in the Achilles and fed up with everything, goes with his caravan to live in a semi-abandoned town, cueta, in Lyon, at an altitude of 1,460 m, where it has only seven neighbours, the family that runs the bar is the only business in the region. In four square meters, a complete house: a bed, a kitchen, sink, bathroom, lighting, heating and that’s it. There is no TV, no radio, no telephone coverage. If you want to call you have to climb the mountain, 500 meters difference in level.

marilaswho is barely 26 years old, spends his days studying to be a mountain guide, and when his feet allow him, visiting all corners of the Cantabrian Mountains, first on a mountain bike and then running or skiing, Ascetic life. With the sole company of his dog Tsar, he climbs the peaks, descends on them, travels for kilometers and then returns to his caravan, where he barely spends. The caravan is self-sufficient and has food, either from neighbors or from Tupperware that its mother brings when she visits. He could go months without anyone noticing, except him or the bar owners. But one day, oh, one day.

In hillWhy not meet a girl, Claudia Diazzi, also a mountaineer who owns a dog similar to the Tsar, who tells her that she wants to visit the monastery and he offers to accompany her. They’ll chat, they’ll get to know each other, they’ll go out for a while until they get to this day: Now Merylus and Dazs are parents to a few months old, Nell, and they live together in LA. Cueta, yes, but now in a house, not in the caravan that he had left the corridor three years ago after three years.

With TVs, radios and even high-speed internet, which has recently been installed in the city, the family enjoys parenting while Merillas explodes internationally. This year, at the age of 31, forgetting that Achilles injury, he has placed third in Zegamma, second in the Norwegian Stranda fjord race and now facing OCC, which is due to take place in the Alps this week at the UTMB. The shortest race of the festival. , as one of the favourites, ‘only’ 56 kilometers long and with a vertical drop of 3,500 metres. Life, how it changes.

“I focused on doing what I liked”

“The truth is that my life has completely changed in the last two years,” he admits to EL Mundo. chamonix in the hours before the test. marilas Tells his story with glee, as well as his time alone La Cueta. in caravan, which does not consider a dark period. Absolutely. “It made me re-focus on my priorities. Those were the three years in which I was trained for life, in every way. As a runner I stopped focusing on what I wanted to brand and I focused on doing what he liked, without being dependent on anyone”, says Merillas, highly respected—and hated—in trail for his style.

Neither sees nor lies with five satellites soft flask, or carbon fiber cane: Merillas trains with an inexpensive Casio watch, a Ryeon jacket his mom sewed for him years ago, and bamboo canes he makes by hand. He is generally quite critical of the introduction of technology into the mountains and in fact, this, along with his lack of appetite for events and social networks, has cost him many sponsors. Now he works only with those who give him complete freedom, without ties, such as the Italian Scarpa.

“I too have changed a bit in that sense in recent times. Claudia has also helped me a lot in that sense. She helps me grow through social networks, for example. I though because of marketing. Not going to sell myself. I’m old school, I guess we get too complicated in the mountains. If a brand of cane comes along and offers me a pasture to carry carbon fiber, I Will do it, but it will be enough to retire soon after: if not, I don’t park my sticks”, says Merillas, with the highest mountaineering profile of all climbers in the world.

Also raised in Pramo del Cil and Valsecco el bierzocloser to Ponferrada, learned to drive through the mountains thanks to his rancher relatives, but wanted to become a karateka or football player until the age of 17 when he discovered the world of mountain racing. its place. While studying Mechanics Vocational Training and later, when he entered the army, he continued to run and from the age of 21 he achieved results, such as his victory in the traverse of the Picos de Europa or his first in the Zegama. Forum. The injury then quickly curtailed the climb, but allowed him to start a new life. A lonely life, a modest life, a learning life, and finally a life full of love. Life, how it changes.

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Reference from www.elmundo.es

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