Lanzarote is the perfect all-year-round destination for sports lovers and offers outdoor enthusiasts a unique setting in which to train at all levels.
Many professionals organise their training camps on our island, especially in the winter season. This is the case of the athlete, Rafael Botello Jiménez, a great ambassador for Lanzarote as a sports destination.
When we think of an athlete we usually imagine a runner flying on his shoes, devouring kilometres, gaining seconds, managing times. Rafael does all that, but his shoes are a wheelchair that he flies in to every competition he goes to.
Rafael Botello was the first Spanish wheelchair competitor to go below 1:25 in the marathon and 10:15 in the 5000 m event. He generally competes abroad due to the scarce competitive offer in Spain, and is fighting to achieve greater sporting recognition between athletes and para-athletes, as is currently happening between men and women.
His connection with the island came in 2008, when Isabelle Janssens invited him to run the Lanzarote International Marathon and since then he has continued to come here for many months every year, and the island is now his training centre.
In his opinion, Lanzarote is perfect for training especially because of the climate, since it is wonderful to avoid the cold of the peninsular winter. He emphasizes the great variety of zones that the island offers which enable the combination of training sessions, and he confesses that his preferences are La Santa for meeting and working with other athletes, Costa Teguise for training and Playa Blanca for time alone.
In the Lanzarote Sports Calendar there is always a great interest in the Vuelta Playa Blanca Handbike which is part of the European Circuit and brings together professional and amateur sportsmen and women.
He is an unconditional fan of the island’s gastronomy and to finish he talks about his favourite places:
“No one should miss out on a visit to the island’s Jameos, and every visitor should escape to La Graciosa for a day and spend a long afternoon in Famara.”