A unique interview with Rania Rembouli, a rising star of long distance races

A unique interview with Rania Rembouli, a rising star of long distance races

From an early age, she stood out for her performance in endurance races, with emphasis on the 3km with physical obstacles. In 2011 she won the 5th place at 10 km at the European Women’s Youth Championship in Ostrava with a time of 34.15.15, at the same time breaking the pan-Hellenic record, which she kept since 1986. Her debut in a marathon took place in 2014 at the Athens Authentic Marathon, where she took third place with a time of 2.51.23. Her advancement was a given and in less than 12 months she managed to qualify for the Rio Olympics, with the time of 2.39.52 which she achieved in the Berlin race. Rania’s momentum did not stop there, as in December 2015 she was the first Greek woman to finish the Athens Authentic Marathon and was praised upon entering the Panathenaic Stadium. As she herself says, her goal is to get better with every race.

Mrs. Remboulis, tell us about you, how did your career begin and when was the first time you got involved in sports?
The first time I started running was at the age of 12 at games organized by Primary Schools on my island, Leros. The best athletes who were distinguished at that time also participated in Rhodes at the Primary School Pandodekanisiako championship. These games were the start and the motivation to become a great and successful athlete. It was then that I decided to seriously engage with the sport, with my main goal to become better and better.

Did your career towards professional sports have been something you wanted from a young age, or did it result from your good performances?
As I said before, it was a childhood dream that I always wanted to accomplish. Since I remember myself, I liked to run. Wherever I go, at school, in the neighborhood, at home, I was running! Perhaps this is the reason that I have so much strive continue what I love.

Do you think that children who grow out of large urban centers have the same opportunities?
All children have the same opportunities, even away from large urban centers. The conditions may not be the same as in the city, but when you want something and it fulfills you as a person, then nothing is impossible and difficult. Nowadays, sport has also spread to small communities and gives children the opportunity to engage in sports.

You are young athlete with a lot to offer to the sport. What are your next goals?
The most important thing for me is to be healthy for God to keep me and the whole world strong and vigorous. Health is the most basic virtue and its catalyst as to raise the bar high. Every time I set bigger goals and every time I try to achieve them, always with hard work. My goal is the Tokyo Olympic Games in 2020.

You are an ambassador of the Radisson Blu International Marathon of Larnaka and the International Marathon of Rhodes, two associated events. How do you feel about it and what messages would you like to convey through your participation?
It is a great honor for me to have been chosen as an Ambassador of these two Marathon Games, the Radisson Blu of the International Marathon of Larnaka and the International Marathon of Rhodes. As an athlete, you feel great satisfaction when you see that some people believe in you and your efforts and decide that you can represent them in something so great. My goal is to help these two Marathons in the best possible way and to convey to the world the message that they are two great events on two wonderful islands and ideally combining participation in the race with a wonderful trip.

On November 18, you will be in Larnaka at the Radisson Blu International Marathon. What would you say to those who are thinking about participating in such an event for the first time?
My advice to each participant is to enjoy race. In part, however, I would like to give some basic advice or tips for every runner / participant who is thinking of running for the first time at the Radisson Blu Larnaka International Marathon.

For example:

  1. Good preparation up to one month before the marathon, with long enough runs not exceeding a distance of 25 km.
  2. Consumption of energy drinks during training so that the body becomes accustomed and there is not stomach upsets during the actual race.
  3. Proper carbohydration before the race and before any big workouts, so that the body’s stores are full of glycogen and energy.
  4. Appropriate clothing and footwear (clothes, socks and shoes) during the training session by the participants so that on the day of the match they will not wear anything that will cause them any problems.
  5. Athletes should test foods and fluids during preparation so that they don’t cause stomach upsets during the race if used for the first time.