Isabel Vicente López (Salamanca, 1971) has been a member of our team of Policía Local for 15 years, but outside Beniarbeig she is also well known for her long distance sports activities, be it swimming, athletics, hiking or cycling of all kinds. She has taken part in well known international events, such as Titan Desert (Morocco), Pedals de Fuec and Carros de Foc (Pyrenees), Travesía Tabarca-Santa Pola, the Baixada del Renaixement del Ebro (Tortosa) and the Iditarod Trail (Alaska ). She has also climbed the two highest peaks in Europe, Montblanc (4,808m) and Elbrús (5,642m).
Recently, through various media, we have heard about your participation in “La Magia del Kilimanjaro” and “Bike for Girls”. What are they exactly?
In “La Magia del Kilimanjaro” I am one of a group of 5 women who, in June, are going to try to reach the roof of Africa, Kilimanjaro (5,895m), on mountain bikes. We aren’t professionals, we are amateur women, each of us has work and a family. Within this project is Bike For Girls, with which we are going to try to donate bicycles to girls in Tanzania, as this gives them access to education. There, the schools are a long way from where they live, and the only way they can get to school quickly and safely is by bike.
What is the route that you are going to take like?
The biggest difficulty we will face is the altitude, because the higher you get, the less oxygen you have. There will be 5 stages and we’ll climb 1,000 metres each day. We will be accompanied by women ‘carriers’ who will carry everything that we need each day. It’s a project which, apart from its sport element, wants to show that women can do work that traditionally has only been done by men.
What drives you to take part in these experiences?
I have always been active in sport, in fact I studied to be a physical education teacher, but I only worked one year, I wasn’t cut out to be a teacher. But I think it was my older brother who awoke in me the attraction of sport. He has always done sport, and is one of the best climbers in Spain.
In this particular case, there is a fundraising element, but I like long distance sport because you are pushing your body to the limit and it’s like saying to it, let’s see how far we can go. So you realise that you can always get further than you thought. This makes you get to know yourself and helps you face the problems you meet on a day to day basis.
On top of this, what a lot of people don’t know is that you are doing all of this with only one kidney.
Yes, when I was 23 the doctors realised that I had two kidneys joined together, so they weren’t working properly. They removed one of my kidneys and said that I could no longer do sport. But I’m very stubborn and started to do sport in secret. Surprisingly, the part of my kidney which remained started to recover. But it’s also true that I’m very careful with food and I don’t smoke or drink alcohol. .
We hope that everything goes well for you and that you can all give the schoolgirls in Tanzania a lot of bicycles.
Yes, I would like to appeal to everyone, because we live in a society in which we all know how important education is, and we are lucky enough to have the guarantee of basic education, but there are countries where this doesn’t happen, and that’s why I want to ask for the participation of all those who want to take part in this project with little donations that can be made through this web page.