Hello Diego, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Diego: Of course! My name is Diego De Doncker. I live in Ruiselede with my wife Ann, my daughter Axelle (12) and my son Jérome (9).
What is your professional background?
Diego: I studied Engineering. Then I gained experience as a foreman at Christiaens A & J, as a foreman at the ‘High Voltage’ / ‘Low Voltage’ department of Imtech and as a project leader ‘Road Works’ at Norré-Behaegel.
How and when did you get in touch with Pauwels Consulting?
Diego: About 4 years ago, I met Jan Fyens, currently Key Account Director and Parter at Pauwels Consulting. I had a great feeling about the company from the very first moment. Initially, Jan offered me a project at Elia, but eventually I started working on a project at Tuc Rail.
Can you tell us more about your current project?
Diego: Currently, I’m supervising the construction of multi-purpose workplaces and small outbuildings / annexes in Melle. I make sure that everything goes according to plan. I also follow up the different stages of progression.
I heard that your 40th birthday is coming up, and that you will celebrate it in a special way?
Diego: That’s right. I don’t want the go-to midlife birthday present, a motorcycle or something else… (laughs) Instead, I will participate in the Al Andalus Ultimate Trail, a 5-day ‘ultrarun’ or ‘ultra-marathon’.
What exactly is an ‘ultrarun’?
Diego: An ultrarun is an endurance race. In this edition, we will run 230 kilometers through Andalusia between July 11th until July 15th. That means an average of 46 kilometers per day and 7,200 altimeters in total at an average temperature of about 40 degrees.
Diego: I lived as a monk for eight months so I hope I am (laughs). That means no alcohol, a healthy diet and plenty of rest. And with ‘plenty of rest’ I mean leaving parties earlier than usual in order to survive a heavy training session the next day.
Why have you decided to participate in this trail?
Diego: I don’t like the idea of working out without a proper goal. It just seems so boring. That’s why I was looking for an extreme event with a friendly atmosphere. I want to explore my limits. That’s my goal.
What are you going to do in the run-up to the event? Pun intended.
Diego: (Laughs) I’m going to take plenty of rest and perform a few short low-intensity training sessions.
When will you leave for Andalusia?
Diego: I will be there two days before the start of the event. This way, I can still have some rest and get used to temperatures of about 40 ° C.
Sounds like a tough challenge, Diego. I’m curious about the outcome of your adventure. Can I contact you after the event to discuss your experiences in Andalusia?
Diego: Absolutely! I’m just as curious as you are! (laughs)
Thanks for the interview Diego. I wish you lots of fun and success in Andalusia and I look forward to hearing about your run soon!