Oct. 20, 2009
"If I have to die in a track, I will." This is the phrase that Marta Dominguez, one of the best runners in the world, always keeps in mind during a race. Today I'm going to talk a little bit about her amazing career that is full of hard work and is an example to follow for athletes of every sport.
Marta Dominguez was born in 1975 in Palencia, Spain and was nine years old when she started running. During her first years in track, she competed in hurdles and shot put, but wasn't really successful. Years later, her coach realized that with her physical conditions (skinny and short), she would be perfect for long distances. Soon she began to win important races.
Dominguez has been Spain's champion in the 1500m indoor and outdoor track (4.04), the 2000m indoor, the 3000m indoor and outdoor, the 5K (14.52) outdoor, the 10K outdoor and cross country during many years. She also holds a lot of Spanish records as well including 4.07 in the 1500m indoor track, 8.40 in the 3K indoor track, 8.28 in the outdoor 3K and 30.51 in the 10K.
Her international performances are pretty impressive too. Some of her top results include second place in the 5K at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships, 5K Champion of Europe (2002,2006), 2007 Cross Country Champion of Europe, 14th place at the Cross Country World Championship, second place at the indoor 3K World Championship in 2002, a ninth-place finish in the 1500m at Atlanta in 1996 and 10th place in the 5K at Sydney in 2000.
After years of success in multiple distances, Dominguez felt that she had to try something new, so one year ago, at the age of 33, she decided to try the 3K steeplechase. When Dominguez starts something new, she does not do it just to experiment; she does it to be the best. So she started working so hard at it. Nobody thought that she was going to become good in just a few months because she had never done steeplechase.
At the start of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, Dominguez had it in her head to be the champion. During the final, she was in the first group the whole race and was placed in a good position. But when she had 250m left, and was in second place, one of her legs hit the hurdle and she fell really hard. After falling she tried so hard to get up, but was fainting already. When she lifted her head, she saw how a gold medal just went away in a second. Dominguez said right after the race, that it was one of the hardest times in her life. She was disappointed because all the suffering had no point in that moment. She could have given up, but she kept working harder and harder to be ready for the World Championship in 2009.
A couple of weeks before the competition, she ran an amazing time of 9.07, the actual Spain record, so she was really confident. Before the race in the World Championship, she knew in her head that this time was the time. So after an unbelievable race, she won the World Championship. When she crossed the finish line, she had one of the biggest smiles I have ever seen, and she said: "All the effort, all the suffering, all the tears that I cried were worth it when I crossed that line."
Marta Dominguez is a very good precedent of how effort has always a reward. If things are not going how you expected, just keep working and do not give up. WHEN YOU WISH SOMETHING AND YOU PUT ALL YOU GOT ON IT, YOU CAN GET IT.
- Clara Cid