Maria Mercedes Ramirez Mosquera is a master class athlete who lives in Liberia, and her half century of life does not stop her from dreaming of going to the World Championship for the first time.
On the contrary, she gets up at dawn every day, runs 8 kilometers (5 miles), works her muscles and trains children. Her effort has been converted into medals, and at this point now she has accrued more than 100 medals both within the country and in other countries.
Internationally, she won three gold medals and one bronze in the 2014 North Central and Caribbean Championships (NORCECA- Campeonato Norte Centro y Caribe). Within national borders, she set the national record in the hammer throw (15.88 meters or 52 feet) at the Track and Field Masters Athletics Tournament II, organized by the Masters Athletics Sports Association (ADEMA- Asociación Deportiva Máster de Atletismo).
According to ADEMA, Ramirez was the only representative from Guanacaste in this tournament and is one of three athletes between the ages of 50 and 54 who compete nationally in different athletic events.
In addition, she has earned won medals in events like the 800 meter run, relays (4x400 and 4×100 meters) and race walking.
“I want to go to a master track world championships in 2017 and place well in the ranking. Although I may be 51 years old, I tell the teenagers that I still aspire to go to the world championship.”
From Colombia to Liberia
“I love overcoming obstacles,” said the Colombian, who became a Costa Rican resident in 2010.
Although the athlete does not have a Guanacaste ID number, she affirms that she feels deeply Liberian and she did not think twice when asked to compete for the country for the first time in the NORCECA Championships in 2006 in Guatemala. She earned gold and silver medals.
She discovered her love for speed in Colombia when she was young and competed in high school in the 100 and 200-meter events.
“Since I was 14, I competed in student games. I ran with men and women. I gave my all to it,” she recalled.
“To be an athlete, you have to work on strength, speed and throwing. You have to be very disciplined and be strong mentally,” she added.
Athlete and Mother
The athlete trains the Liberia track team, with children ranging in age from 7 to 13.
“I like training athletes. Teaching comes naturally to me. This is my thing,” she expressed
During training, she teaches much more than just athletics. For example, she believes that diet is important in every athlete’s development. “It is important to drink plenty of water, eat fruits and vegetables. Also, fish and chicken to speed up the metabolism,” she explained.
When Ramirez is not on the track, she is with her daughter and her husband, her other two loves.
“I am also a housewife. I believe the discipline from sports applies at home. I like to fix up the house and be fully at home, look after my daughter, for her to do well in high school,” she affirmed.
Six years ago, she married Liberian Luis Alberto Faerron Vargas, who also shares a passion for track and trains with her every day.
They share goals as a family. This year, the goal is for her to participate in the Central American Masters Athletics Championship in November. However, for now, she needs about $800 to cover her travel and competition expenses, so she is looking for sponsors.
She is convinced that she still has many meters of track left to run during her career as an athlete.