Núria Gil, escape and victory in the mountains
Núria Gil Clapera (Reus, 1991) is used to always being busy. Her dizzying pace of life has accelerated even more these days, with the Trail Running World Championship just around the corner, which she will play in Thailand on November 5. The preparations for the travel plan and the processing of the passport have completely taken over this week his already busy daily schedule: first thing in the morning he goes to his own medical consultation, where some patients wait like rain in May for their treatments as physiotherapist and osteopath; from there, at noon, he goes directly to train in the mountains near his native Reus, either in Puig d'en Cama, in Selva del Camp, or in El Bres and Puig Voltor, in Botarell, three of their favorite places; she does not spare a single session in her goal of arriving with the best set-up. Then she goes home to eat. "I'm lucky that my partner is the one who goes to the supermarket to buy and also cooks," she admits. A short break and, in the afternoon, she returns to the medical center until she finishes her workday and she goes back to pick herself up.
This 31-year-old woman from Reus has no choice but to dedicate herself professionally to physiotherapy despite the excellent results she is achieving in mountain races. Neither the runner-up in Europe nor her second place in the emblematic OCC of the Montblanc Ultratrail, which ended in Chamonix, have made her change her decision. Although she has not been short of offers.
«I am not going to leave my job to compete exclusively. I make a good living as a physiotherapist, I'm not going to lie, and I know that the day I get injured or tired of running I won't have to worry about that," admits Núria, whose consultation is attended by dozens of amateur athletes who usually ask her advice and also to listen to their race stories while unloading their muscles. She usually explains to all her patients that "mountain races help me to disconnect from day to day, they give me freedom and sometimes even act as a personal psychologist," she reveals.
Her performance has been incredible in recent years for an athlete who has been taking trail running seriously for only three years, just since she finished her studies as an osteopath. Such is her track record that, in addition to being the European runner-up, she also has a title of champion of Spain (2021) and a triplet of consecutive titles from Catalonia (2020-21-22).
Of course, her first approach to a mountain event had occurred much further back, in 2014, after a friend and now her patient, Gabriel Bosques (municipal architect of Reus), encouraged her to participate in the La Selva- Prades-La Selva and she will be captivated.
From then until 2019 he had competed in some provincial tests with the Borges Trail team, although without training, until he decided to put one more gear.
The performance it offers in the mountains, however, is not the result of chance either. Her human body has so much memory that her good base in athletics in lower categories, where she was always trained by her uncle Quimet Ras, left a mark that has now resurfaced in her with the best essences of she. With him, she was several times Catalan and Spanish cadet and youth champion in cross, 1,000 and 1,500 meters, a distance in which she also competed in a World Cup and a European.
Without forgetting that she is a real fighter and has overcome different injuries this season. The most serious, a fibular fracture to which she cut several weeks from the usual recovery periods at the beginning of the year, and also fasciitis. In fact, she herself now drags an inflammation of fat in the heel of her right foot that she endures with pain while waiting to finish the World Cup.
Sponsored by Asics and federated with the Center Excursionista l'Areny de Mont-roig del Camp, in Thailand her goal will be to finish in the top 8, a result that will allow her to win a scholarship from the Spanish Athletics Federation.
That next race, 39 kilometers long and 2,400 meters uneven, will have as main conditioning factors the heat that the participants will have to endure; his state of form in this final stretch of the season; overcoming jet lag for the majority and the mud that could be found on the track if the rains persist. This last aspect would not benefit Reus, who prefers sliding circuits.
Núria has prepared the test together with her coach, who for just a few weeks has been Rafa Flores again, appointed in his day by Quimet Ras himself. "When I can't train you, I want Rafa to be your coach," she told her niece. Some words that Gil keeps like gold on cloth in her memory.