Eugenio Peidro Otal has spent most of his life at sea as a skipper, engineer and commercial diver. However, after having landed in Mallorca “by chance”, he has taken to the mountains over the past few years and is currently completing his training for a marathon charity run across the peaks of the Tramuntana Mountains, up to 1,400 metres above sea level.
Eugenio was born in Seville and obtained his Master's degree in Marine Sciences at the University of Cadiz before qualifying as a Padi Diving Instructor, a commercial diver and a Yachtmaster Ocean (commercially endorsed).
He is currently working as an engineer/shipwright/project manager for Oyster Yachts in Palma, where he has been based for the past four years after having been offered a position as a commercial diver at the main shipyards in Palma, such as STP and Mallorca Marine.
After graduating, Eugenio, 44, decided to make the most of his two great passions - the sea and travel - and headed off to Ireland, Australia and the Bahamas either as a skipper, crew member or a diving instructor in Nassau, which is where he received the offer of a job as a commercial diver from a German nautical company in Palma.
“The offer came by chance and I thought I’d give it a go and took off for Palma and a new adventure on my journey. I guess it took me a year to find my bearings in Mallorca, but I soon fell in love with the island and decided to make it my base.
“Some four years ago, I joined Oyster Yachts and spent most of my time at sea as a skipper. But more recently, I’ve been land-based at their office in Palma and that has enabled me to revive my love for sport, in particular running.
“When you are at sea for six to seven months, training, physical activity and trying to keep to a routine is very difficult; that said, I’ve never been one to watch my diet. Having always been extremely active with a very keen interest in sport, I’ve been able to enjoy eating pretty much what I want and when.”
With a more regular working structure and a number of half marathons already under his belt, he managed to find the time to take to running in the mountains accompanied by his trusty dog Chispa for moral support.
“I’ve managed to compete in triathlons on the island, get back on the bike and get back in to serious running. I train five times a week. Three days will be running and two will be in the gym using weights to strengthen my legs to prevent any injuries. And then maybe on one of my spare days I will jump on the bike or go swimming.
“I feel so privileged to be living here in Mallorca which, apart from its glorious coastline and thriving nautical industry, has these great mountains. It’s a paradise for lovers of outdoor sports and just look at the number of professional and world-leading sportsmen and women this small island has and continues to produce.
“From Olympians to tennis and MotoGP legends, the list is endless, and that is because this island lends itself to being active and enjoying a healthy life. The landscape and the weather make perfect conditions and it’s a shame to waste one’s time indoors when we can be outside nearly every day of the year enjoying a wide range of sports and activities. The island is also blessed with some extremely professional physical trainers, such as Katie Handyside, who put me in touch with you.
“I am now embarking on a special adventure in aid of the Banco de Alimentos Mallorca food bank. At Oyster Yachts we have been extremely lucky during the pandemic to have been extremely busy on both the maintenance and sales side - many people have suffered.
“The protocols obviously made things very complicated, but we managed to overcome the hurdles and challenges and kept operating as best as possible. With regard to sales it’s been our busiest season ever, with the American market having really taken off. Using the latest technology, such as video sales and virtual tours, we’ve been selling and shipping yachts to the States all through the pandemic. We’re looking ahead to a busy season.”
But before that, at midnight on May 16, he will be setting off from the Roman Bridge in Pollensa on a non-stop 100-kilometre charity run along the R221 dry-stone route to Estellencs.
“As the situation grows increasingly worse for many families in Mallorca, the food banks are under incredible strain to try and get food to those in need. Over the past year, the nautical industry has been doing a great deal of work to help those in dire straits, and this is my effort to try and make a difference.
“I have been training hard, doing 50k stints, and they’ve taken an average of around nine hours. However, I expect to complete the whole 100k in around 20 hours. Obviously, the longer and further I run, the slower I will eventually get.
“I will start the first stage up the old track to Lluc with two friends - mainly for safety reasons. It’s going to be a night start so I don’t want any unnecessary mishaps. I will obviously be carrying the bare minimum of food and water and other necessities, but once we reach Lluc, from there on it will be just myself and Chispa for the rest of the run.
“I have not set a target of money I intend to raise. To be honest, it’s been complicated trying to get donations. I’ve been to most of the main nautical industries and other businesses but, due to the current climate, funds are short. So I’ve had to turn to friends, family and former employees and yacht owners, but I hope that my run will increase awareness and that more donations will come forward, because I need their support to help keep families going and help stock the food bank so it can continue its wonderful and vital work.
“I have been given a great deal of help by Mike Barns (Guardian Yacht Services), who offered to be in charge of the social media side of things and created the Facebook page '100 km por Banco de Alimentos Mallorca'. I also have to thank his girlfriend Claudia and Richard Potts for accompanying me on the night stage.
“I would have liked to have done the run earlier in the year, but I have had to wait until the curfew is lifted because of the night stage and now, with that set to end on May 9, we are all ready to go the following weekend. I just hope I can complete the run and gather as much help for the food bank as possible.”
For more information visit the Facebook page or to donate, these are the details:
100km por Banco de Alimentos Mallorca, La Caixa account: ES53 2100 0204 12 02 0074 3042. BIZUM 00987.