Britney Briceño and Janine Lima hold their Marbella Half Marathon trophies. / JOSELE

When winning runs in the family

Britney Briceño and Janine Lima finished first and second in the Marbella Half Marathon women's race and their dream is to compete internationally

MARINA RIVAS

The 35th Marbella Half Marathon took place on Sunday morning in the Costa del Sol town, where an exciting race saw a final 300-metre dash in the men's category and a family head-to-head in the women's race.

Younes Belyamna was the first person to cross the finish line with a time of 1:08:46, a second ahead of ex-European champion Reyes Estévez, while Antequera local Javier Arcas took third, finishing with a 1:09:12.

But the women's race saw an interesting situation play out, albeit one that hasn't been all that rare in recent years.

As making a living off running is difficult, Janine instilled in Britney the notion that she needed to study

A unique pairing

Mother and daughter duo of Janine Lima and Britney Briceño finished the Marbella Half Marathon by occupying the top two podium places.

Daughter Britney, 22, came in first with an impressive time of 1:28:53, while her 41-year-old mother Janine finished four minutes later with a 1:32:33.

The pair, who compete with Club Atletismo Málaga, were joined on the podium by Tania Alarcón Lidueña (1:35:22)

Janine is already a regular in the athletics community in the province, and she is a well-known long-distance runner, having participated in races ranging from 10k to 100k, seemingly with no limits.

Born in Ecuador, where she was mainly raised by her father after her mother's death at an early age, she emigrated to Spain to continue her studies and to look for a better life.

Important values

After a period spent in Madrid, Janine moved to Marbella, where she met and married the man who would become her coach, Eduardo Briceño. The Ecuadorian fell in love with the area and she continued her career as a nursing assistant. From her relationship with Eduardo came Britney, who would become Janine's pride, her support and best friend.

It was a relationship she was never able to have with her own mother, which meant that her father had stepped in to educate Janine to be a strong, intelligent and independent woman.

And Britney is a clear reflection of her mother's strength. She was brought up in a household of sports enthusiasts, specifically athletics, which her dad introduced her to. It quickly became the passion of both mother and daughter, and it wouldn't take them long to improve their race times.

Britney's most recent half marathon finish in Marbella wasn't the first time she beat her mother or won a race. She's also been victorious in other competitions around the province and has even taken first place in long-distance Andalusian Championships.

They remember the first time they took part in a race together, the classic 10k held in Malaga city. Since then they've become great partners in the trials of road-running.

"She has run great races, I was behind her in this last one," said Janine with pride. "There are races I've done to prepare for a longer-distance event, so I went at a different pace, while Britney broke away because she had specifically prepared for that race. She's evolved a lot," her mother continued.

Work hard, train hard

The family itself makes for a great team: dad trains and advises them, mum provides the experience and daughter acts as a physiotherapist, which is also her day job.

Knowing that it would be very difficult to make a living off running, Janine instilled in Britney from a young age the notion that she needed to study.

"You can't make a living out of it and I always say, everyone needs an education, it's what fulfils you as a person."

Their routines don't leave much time for a social life. They both work during the day and they train when they get home.

"We're used to training together, often we leave work at the same time, get home and go out to train practically every night," Janine explained. "We dedicate around two or two and a half hours every day, and a little more at weekends."

The duo share the same personality, values and concerns; but their sporting mentality is different. "Every time my mother runs we support her from afar," said Britney, who doesn't think she can run in such extreme or complex races as Janine.

"There are unique and special people, and my mother is one of them. She has and always will be my role model."

Britney's dream is to be able to run alongside her mother in international races and improve their results, wherever that may be.

Janine seconds that dream, proof that she is an athlete who knows no limits and whose best personal achievement is sharing the sport she loves with the people who fill her life.