Ismael Mattos was born in Montevideo, Uruguay where he currently lives. He is 37 years old, is graduated in Marketing and has a post degree in Business Administration. He has been a runner for the past two years and belongs to the local running club Trotamundos, an association strong of over forty runners.
Before a run Ismael usually eats bananas. While the typical meal in Uruguay consists in meat, especially one barbecued over a woodfire that is called "asado", this is not recommended to eat before running. Runners usually prefer to eat pasta, the other traditional food in this country, due to the strong presence of an Italian community.
In Uruguay few people run during the winter. Most of the people run in spring and summer. However, there is an increasing amount of runners that are running all year long. Ismael likes to run a lot, so he enjoys all types of weather. "Obviously is nice to run under the sun in a beautiful day, but I have fun doing it under the rain too. In fact, I have obtained my best scores in races under the rain" he says. South America's climate in this part of the continent does not really affect in terms of running. Everything depends on people's preferences, some runners do not go out when it is cold or rains. When asked what he is wearing for running, Ismael replied cotton shorts, lycra shorts, Dryfit T-shirt and a nylon jacket when it rains. He also uses reflective clothes, because he covers mostly urban routes and there is some risk due to the traffic. "I do not use any accessories and I usually buy water wherever I found it on the road". He owns six pairs of running shoes.
We asked Ismael if he listens to music while he runs and he commented "A trainer once told me that it is no good to run listening to music because you lose rhythm and you tend to keep time to the music and not your own pace, so I prefer to go talking or simply hearing my foot steps". He reads some running magazines, but mainly he reads electronic newsletters.
How is it to run in Uruguay? Running is getting more popular day by day. In a country of three millions of inhabitants, most popular races gather around 5000 runners, but people who run all the races are still a reduced group. "In my opinion, this year will be the launch-year for races here in Uruguay. We have every condition set to think that this is going to happen". Running is practiced by both men and women, but running with dogs is not common. No taboos nor religious, cultural activities or philosophies (such as prohibited on a certain day of the week) however affect running in Uruguay. Traffic is the only hazard to watch for while running and of course run carefully to avoid twisting an ankle. Uruguay is also great for visiting runners. Usually the country has the presence of foreigners, and there is no reason to worry for them. "We are an extremely respectful and secure country and we are used to receive tourists from all over the world" says Ismael.
Ismael usually runs 4 or 5 days a week, between 10 and 14 kilometers; once a week he does a long run of 20 or 25 kilometers. He usually runs with his Trotamundos friends but sometimes he also likes to run by himself, in order to be completely alone for a couple of hours and do some introspection. He likes to switch routes, not only to see different sights but also to manage different kinds of physical effort. "Some days I prefer to do flat routes and some others I do hills". He also runs in several organized races. Most popular are those of 10k, but there are some of 21k and 42k. The most expensive event have a 7 U.S. dollars fee. Prizes include race packets and participation medals. Along the course of these events the refreshment points usually offer water and some isotonic beverages. In 21k and 42k races they also provide fruit. There are no charity races or novelty events in Uruguay.
But Ismael is a traveling runner. "I have run in many cities of Uruguay and Argentina. Next year I am going to run in Brazil and some important marathon such as the ones of New York City or Paris". When running in another country many times not knowing the route is the challenge, and this is part of the fun, although it makes it harder. His first marathon (Marathon of Colonia) was last July and he has also run half marathon in Punta del Este. Ismael's fastest time is two hours in the half marathon under profuse rain. "It was a pity that I was sick a week before the marathon because I took five hours to complete it... and I was training to take only four". What has been so far his favorite race? "The most moving for me was obviously my first marathon, but the one I liked most was that organized by Nike in Buenos Aires, Argentina where I run among 15,000 people. And because of this race we created Trotamundos, the running group that I am joining now".
Run The Planet would like to thank Ismael Mattos from Uruguay for taking part in the Planeteer Spotlight.