Aritz Kortabarria, ULMA Handling Systems — ULMA Begira

Ulma Handling Systems

Aritz Kortabarria, ULMA Handling Systems

Employees and partners of the Group make their professional career compatible with very demanding hobbies where they demonstrate that all obstacles can be overcome with talent and hard work.
Aritz Kortabarria, ULMA Handling Systems
Dec 15, 2016


Aritz Kortabarria, an employee of ULMA Handling Systems, has been practising Triathlon for 16 years now.
Water, asphalt, effort, evasion, control, satisfaction, improving, solvency These words, which apparently have no connection to each other, describe the semantic field in which Aritz Kortabarria becomes immersed every time he prepares to compete in a Triathlon.
Everything began 16 years ago and the practising of this demanding sport has been part of his daily routing for so long now that it has become an inherent part of his life.
The important thing is to be active and each person should find an activity they like.
“I have been doing this for so long that it has become part of my life. It provides me with an opportunity to evade from work, daily stress and every day life. I could never just do nothing after work. It provides me with a channel to release stress”, explains Aritz, who for three years now has been working in the SAP Department at ULMA Handling Systems.
Aritz started out biking and began transitioning to triathlon without giving it much though.
“I began practising this sport without even realising it”, says Aritz, who trains an average of 10 hours per week consisting of swimming and running from Monday to Friday and biking on the weekends.
The trajectory that Aritz has forged based on arm strokes, pedalling and runs has earned him several honourable positions in national as well as international triathlons and is a 24 time finisher of the Ironman competition, which is the most demanding triathlon competition in the world, entailing a 3.8 km swim in open waters, a 180 km bike run and 42.5 km run.
The Ironman sporting event is an extremely difficult race that requires being in excellent physical condition and being highly aware of one’s capabilities. This race really pushes the limits of those who participate.
During these 16 years, Kortabarria has participated in competitions in the United States, Brazil, Mexico, Hungary, Czech Republic and Germany and recently, in the Ironman World Championship, a race that takes place every year in Hawaii and which requires passing a series of classifying rounds that are regulated by the World Triathlon Corporation (WTC).
However, the Hawaiian experience has been bitter sweet for Aritz.
“It was not the race I expected. It was very hot and humid. You have to really pay attention to staying hydrated. I was not able to push my limits and perform at my level. I have to go back one day and redeem myself”, he added
In spite of being a sport that demands a high level of mental control, Aritz is well aware that this is just a hobby that he practises to evade from the difficulties of everyday life, it in no way represents a burden and he will continue practising this sport as long as it remains fun. “I will stop when I am no longer having fun”.
For him, one of the greatest satisfactions is the mental concentration that is required, abstracting from the environment which allows him to forget everything else and only pay attention to the messages that are being sent by his body; breathing, pulse, rhythm, etc.
“When running, one is concentrated on the pulse. You are in another dimension trying to dodge any bad sensations. The key to a race is to overcome these negative sensation and to push the limits. If I am able to overcome the psychological low that occurs during a race I will be satisfied, proud and in peace”, reasons Aritz.
Even though for him the feelings he experiences during the race is more important than the results, Aritz has achieved a great deal of sporting success. Last year he came in eleventh place in the elite [MB1] category of the Ironman Madrid KM0, sixth place in the elite category at the Half Triathlon of Ribadesella and fourth place in the elite category of the half Astromad Triathlon.
Kortabarria plays down the importance of the amount of commitment required in his sport and is convinced that the therapeutic effect it has on him is strong enough to dissuade him from quitting.
“The important thing is to be active and each person should find an activity they like. The effect that exercise has on me, for another person it could be like going fishing”, he concludes.