There was a day when Isabel Díaz Ayuso burst into tears in front of two ladies. They were almost alone. At the finish of a half marathon. Cramped, she was one of the last. “With war wounds,” he recalls. The athlete Chema Martínez listens to her tell it this Friday, stuffed into a silver jacket, that that’s what the second best marathoner in Europe is here for. And it does not lose gravel. Feel, he says later, that in those words there is truth and pain, joy and sweat, the effort of the popular runner. While Díaz Ayuso receives the title of honor marathoner of the Madrid Marathon, those present attend the president enthralled, as if she were a mixture of the political Margaret Thatcher and the marathoner Paula Radcliffe. And they dedicate hyperbole and praise to her, syrup upon syrup, to entertain her.
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―We are led by a president who brings together the best values of both the athlete and the public servant: work, dedication, perseverance and solidarity, says the master of ceremonies. That is why we are proud to award her the title of marathoner of honor.
It is one more distinction than those that Díaz Ayuso has received in recent days, turned into the sun that warms the most, to which everyone comes to provide them with the photo and the minutes in the news that they might not have alone. And she, of course, lets herself. Díaz Ayuso rides the wave of fame without saying no to anything. At the heart of his strategy is the maximum possible occupation of media spaces, as recognized by two of his former advisers. The more the better. And he applies himself to the task with enthusiasm, by land, sea and air, given over to propaganda, also now, that he has launched himself into the fight to control the PP in Madrid.
This Friday it was the marathon’s turn. Tuesday was the prize of the Vicente del Bosque cadet soccer tournament. A week ago, the Flame of Freedom award, from the Bruno Leoni Institute. In between, openings of university courses, talks to students, visits to fairs. Always haunted by the cameras, as it will happen again in the next few days. From Madrid to New York and Washington, the regional president begins a trip to the United States this Saturday that will close to fly to Valencia and participate in the national convention of the PP. All in seven days.
A political marathon that is preceded by the sports marathon ceremony. Diaz Ayuso arrives at her this Friday on two thin heels like needles.
―Before she ran a lot, she throws at the door of the event, as if wanting to explain that the distinction as a marathoner of honor makes total sense, that she is also and has been a runner, that she knows, like those who accompany her, that Madrid is a hell of a slopes, designed inadvertently so that your marathon breaks runners’ legs, and with them their hopes.
Díaz Ayuso collects a trophy and a medal, poses with a marathon shirt, and then advances towards the microphone, stepping on the red carpet with a determined step. It is there, while foreign athletes look at him without knowing who he is, that is why they come from Kenya and Ethiopia, when he tries to tell his truths, share his pain, and remember his battles.
“The last half marathon, when I reached the finish line, almost alone, it must have been one of the last,” she recalls. “There were two ladies waiting for me, clapping, excited, I started crying,” he continues. “Those cramps that last you two days fill you with pride. They already go for a lifetime. They are war wounds ”.
Coral Bistuer, who was a taekwondo star, then a television face, and is now a senior official in the Community, agrees to each statement of the president. Marta Rivera de la Cruz, the Minister of Culture, also shows her support. Díaz Ayuso, who recorded his last electoral video running, says goodbye without haste. From huddle to huddle, he caters to everyone. In the street, do not sprint. In the political marathon, she competes meter by meter, and with very different goals than she had as an athlete.
On Saturday he travels to the United States. From there he will fly to the national convention of the PP. All signs that he works so that when he gets to where he is going there are no longer just two ladies. He wants to be the first on the finish line, be it that of the PP primaries in Madrid, that of the autonomous elections of 2023, or any other. And that is why it has the public agenda with the most acts, ceremonies, speeches and awards ceremonies of any politician in Spain.
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