Pilar Moreno López is a first-year student in the Dual Degree in Economics + International Relations. She’s a Segovian local, and she decided to study at IE University not only because it allowed her to dive into her specific interests with world-class professors, but because it also enabled her to continue to train with her current Track and Cross Country coach.

She told us how she balances her academic and athletic responsibilities thanks to IE University and IEU Athletics!

Why did you choose IE University?

I chose IE University because the Dual Degree in Economics and International Relations program was the most appealing of all the ones I was considering. I liked that it includes programming and subjects related to contemporary issues and recent events. Moreover, by studying at the Segovia campus, I could continue training with my current coach, which meant a lot to me.

What made you start practicing this sport? What does your practice schedule look like?

I’ve been practicing Track and Cross Country since I was eight. I’ve always liked running; at home, at school, in the street—whenever and wherever I could. So when I grew up, my parents decided it was time for me to join a track club. Nowadays, I still enjoy my sport a lot. I train six days a week (or five when I have an upcoming competition) for at least an hour and a half.

How do you manage to balance training and studying at IE University?

I’ve been combining athletics and studies for ten years, and it’s helped me improve my time management and organizational skills a lot. I have no problem balancing both. I often have to adapt my training schedule to my classes but fortunately, my coach is a great planner, so we can always adjust our timetable. 

Do you have competitions? How does IE University support you when your competition schedule overlaps with classes?

Yes, I have Cross Country meets in winter and Track events during the spring and fall. My main event is the 3,000-meter steeplechase. Normally, I compete representing Image FDR (the club I’m a part of), but now I also compete as an IE University athlete, too. IE University staff have always been very supportive, and the professors have been quite understanding when I’ve had to compete during class hours.

You recently won the Cross Competition of Castilla and Leon. Tell us more about this competition.

It was the “Trofeo Rector,” a five-kilometer race that took place in Toro, in Zamora. Athletes from all over the region were competing, either individually or within teams representing their universities. This competition is pretty special; it’s only held once a year, and athletes don’t represent their club or their city—they run for their university. I was pretty excited back when I was asked to participate, and I’m even happier now that I can share my success with the community.

What do you like about IEU Athletics? What are the benefits of being part of it?

From the beginning, I’ve always felt strongly connected to IEU Athletics. Juan Barrio, Manager of Sports & Well-Being, has always supported me and helped me become part of the team. In this community, we have a unique bond with each other, so although my sport is more individual, I still feel like I´m part of a team. Also, IEU Athletics provides coaching, clothing and sports facilities to train at whatever level you feel comfortable with.

Do you have any recommendations for future students who would like to join IEU Athletics?

You should definitely come to the fair that we hold in September; students will present details about the wide variety of clubs. My advice is to try any sport that catches your attention or excites you, even if you haven’t practiced it before. IEU Athletics will welcome you for sure, and you may even end up representing us in competitions!