The amateur athlete achieving professional results
Aroa Merino is a sportswoman from Lanzarote who began her career at the age of 22 thanks to the motivation of a friend at a difficult time in her life. A few years later she managed to get a place in the Ironman World Championship and since abandoning the triathlon she has focused on athletics and has become one of the best runners in the country.
Well, it was one event after another, going out to train, and I ended up doing ten Ironman events, two world championships and six Ironman competitions here
It all started after going with a friend to see some of the triathlon events that are held in Lanzarote, and then receiving the gift of a bicycle at Christmas. Sacrifice and perseverance during training prepared her to face challenging objectives. Aroa participated in several editions of the Lanzarote Ironman as well as events in other places in Europe.
On two occasions, thanks to her excellent performances in the race on her home island, she qualified for the Ironman World Championship in Hawaii. After participating in 10 Ironman distance events, she brought her triathlon career to a close and focused on athletics.
I decided that ten was the perfect number to close on and I started to concentrate on running. It was either swimming or running because I wasn’t very good at cycling.
Athletics saw the return of her motivation and the desire to achieve new goals. Her first races were local and regional events in which she did not achieve noteworthy results, but little by little she climbed the rankings until becoming one of the best athletes in the Canary Islands.
Her times led her to be called upon to participate in important national events such as the San Sebastián Behobia, a competition she has won three times and which gave her the opportunity to meet Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run a marathon.
I was able to meet Kathrine Switzer, the first woman to run a marathon, and I think that I’ll always remember that. It’s one of those opportunities that you never think you will have in life.
Her achievements in athletics include winning several Canary Island championships, and being runner-up in Spain in the marathon, half-marathon and 10,000-metre events. In 2019 she won the Lanzarote Marathon, a feat which is very special to her as she ran the race to help a friend and ended up at the top of the podium. Merino still has the goal of representing her country in the Olympic Games, a dream that could be fulfilled next year in Tokyo.