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Portrait of Tariku Novales, marathon runner and artist


The life full of cultural and musical concerns of the Galician athlete, the best Spanish athlete in the 42 kilometers at the moment, between his childhood in Ethiopia and a maturity in which he does not want to give up anything

The latest findings from scientists say that you run with your guts, and it is not a metaphor.

Dopamine, the chemical that while the legs move and the heart races, plays hide-and-seek in the brain between the neurons with its endorphin friends, and creates the irrepressible urge to exercise promising pleasure, the researchers explain, it accelerates when the bacteria that live in the intestines send them a signal.

They have tested it in the laboratory with mice, and perhaps many marathon runners will find it funny and it will push them to eat more yogurt, and Tariku Novales probably won't be one of them.

Dopamine, the urge to run, may flourish among the microbes that aid in good waste disposal, but the Galician athlete finds it more than anywhere in his childhood memory,

"Since I was little, before arriving in Spain, in Ethiopia, I followed Haile [Gebrselassie] and Kenenisa [Bekele], the gods of the bottom of the Rift Valley, always my references," says Novales, 24.

“I have always wanted to be them, and since I started playing this sport my dream has been to achieve better results and be at the top.

I live the dreams of that child…”

Tariku was adopted by a Galician couple at the age of six.

“But I didn't come back, maybe I thought I wasn't ready to come back, until a couple of years ago, and then it was more of a necessity.

I needed to go back, fill in the gaps in my life, rediscover my roots”, says the Spanish hope of the marathon, 2h 7m 18s at the age of 24, in Valencia, three weeks ago.

“Since I left my country, in 2004, I had not had contact with my roots.

I left at Christmas and I even spent the end of the year in the air… The idea was to go for a week and a backpack, alone, to see what I could find, and I stayed for six.

After thinking about it for a long time, one day I stopped doubting, and I went.

I was finding information about my life until I was six years old.

It was a reconnection with my roots.

I came back personally strengthened, although it was a tough experience.

I received information from my biological parents, I met many close people, I confronted my memories as a child from before I was six years old, memories, I suppose, adulterated.

I confirmed what I wanted to know and what I was missing, filling in many gaps.

It was complicated and necessary.

I needed to fill those holes in my life.

I was not born at the age of six in Spain, even if that was what it seemed.

The trip was a great leap of maturity.

I came back feeling like I had somewhere else to call home.

And the injuries that I had always disappeared, they healed ”.

I needed to fill those holes in my life.

I was not born at the age of six in Spain, even if that was what it seemed.

The trip was a great leap of maturity.

I came back feeling like I had somewhere else to call home.

And the injuries that I had always disappeared, they healed ”.

I needed to fill those holes in my life.

I was not born at the age of six in Spain, even if that was what it seemed.

The trip was a great leap of maturity.

I came back feeling like I had somewhere else to call home.

And the injuries that I had always disappeared, they healed ”.

Novales, as a child in Ethiopia in an image from his social networks.

He returned to his Ethiopian home this fall, in October, to finish preparing at altitude, with his family from there, his friends, his great debut in Valencia, the great test, the race that would tell him what it is.

“I knew that he had the qualities and ability to run, but then there is a step, capturing it.

I have very ambitious dreams, and goals, and these are steps towards those dreams and ambitions,” she says.

“Just like before Valencia I didn't set myself records or goals to overcome, now I don't set a ceiling either.

I will go as far as my body and my legs and my health and my training take me.

As the poetry of Jenaro Talens writes, who when introduced as a poet and athlete, a Spanish 10.5s 100m sprinter in the 1960s, specifies, as Paco Brines told him he was, "I am not a poet and sprinter, but a sprinter and poet, in that order”, perhaps the cello will also be played with the guts.

Perhaps Yo-Yo Ma's hands that handle the bow that rubs the four strings and pulsates them when facing Bach's suites alone, a 2h and 10m long exercise, a canonical marathon, are also moved by bacteria from his intestines, so abundant, and, like the marathon runner, the musician ends up exhausted, as if the required physical and mental effort emptied him completely, his guts too.

“Well, the truth is that I had never stopped to think about it, to compare the cello with the marathon.

At the end of the day, the one in Valencia was my 'first' marathon [before, I had run, injured and in poor shape, the one in Madrid, a training session more than anything] and I imagine those thoughts come to you when you've already had a few and you can make comparisons”, says Novales, and discovers another of his needs, that of interpreting music.

“The cello and the marathon above all require a lot of concentration.

It is one of the details that I have noticed, how fused it also leaves you mentally in the post-marathon”.

It also talks about pain.

From finger pain, from hand tendons.

How he ran his best marathon lame, injured, how days later he still walks on crutches.

“The pain got pissed off for putting a marathon on him when he had been warning me for two weeks,” he says, and smiles.

When he returns with his family to his house in Noia, next to the estuary, in A Coruña, Novales always wants to play the cello again, the instrument he studied for eight years at the conservatory.

It's an impossible fight that drives him to rage and frustration, but it doesn't make him desperate, it doesn't defeat him.

“I try to play it as if time hasn't passed.

I'm not content with trying something simple, easy, but I make an effort to play the complicated things that I played before, and I go out of tune, and I get squeaks, and I'm there for five minutes, I get frustrated and quit, and I come back after a little while, and I'm a little more, and I get frustrated again, ”he says.

“Fingers have memory, they know where to put themselves, which strings to play, and how to move the bow that strikes them.

That is important.

And it's also true that I realize when something sounds wrong, what I'm doing wrong, and I won't stop until it sounds right”.

In Madrid, at the Blume residence, where he lived until last summer, and where he continues training with Juan del Campo and Luismi Berlanas, or in Guadalajara, where he now lives with other great athletes, with his friends Héctor Santos and Jordan Díaz, Novales does not he has a cello, but he raps and shoots videos for YouTube and sings with his soft voice and consonant rhyme.

It is also his life.

Novales, right, poses with friends during a workout in Ethiopia in an Instagram image.

“First of all, more than anything, I'm a marathon runner,” he says.

"My main objective and the one I want my life to revolve around is to achieve the maximum in this sport, but since I was little I filled my life with many activities, I have more concerns."

He talks about his life and a volcano of concerns erupts.

He didn't just study cello.

With his family I always went to concerts, exhibitions, theater, movies, all that.

He reads a lot, he writes, he studied art high school for one year.

And his curiosity to know everything is multiplied by his desire to cultivate himself, to grasp everything.

“I have facility to write and to express myself.

Rap always caught my attention.

I like it as a complete expression, I really like the way of expressing it like that, and I'm not bad at writing it.

I kept everything in folders that I reopened during the quarantine, and from there I recorded YouTube”, says the marathon runner,


of 98 and, despite this, patient.

And I don't give up anything.

Life is not just sport, it doesn't have to be all sports related.

There are more things to do.

I just want to be myself, with all that it entails, and without limits.

Being pigeonholed in something limits you a lot.”

Throw away the borders, Tariku Novales,


, an existentialist



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Source: elparis

All sports articles on 2022-12-26

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