When IHF teaches its top referees to focus strongly on their fitness, there is someone who can set a good example for all the referees of the younger generation. Ramon Gallego was always extremely fit in the days when he was still an active referee, with Olympic and World Championship finals among his top achievements. But he has remained in shape, and the current group of referees have a tough time following him when he takes them out on training runs. And this instills respect when he preaches fitness and agility.
And despite the large amount of time he spends for the benefit of the IHF referees, in addition to his professional career as a university professor back home in Spain, he also finds enough time to stay in sufficient shape to compete in some of the top marathon races of the world. I have lost track of exactly have many marathons that Ramon has completed, but a few days ago he made his debut in the difficult and prestigious New York City marathon which had over 40000 participants. Of course I am little bit frustrated that I could not convince him to make his U.S. debut in last weekend’s marathon in the Washington D.C. area, where the course takes the runners through my street.
Anyway, Ramon posted a very respectable time of 3.28.47. He was carrying on like a machine for the first 25km, at a steady pace of 47 minutes per 10km. But then he must have spent too much energy waving back to the cheering crowds during the next 10km, where his pace slowed down just a bit. In any case, I would be interested to see if anyone among our top referees would be prepared to challenge Ramon in one of his upcoming races. And now I just look forward to cheering him on when he comes to the Washington marathon next year!