| Biggest winning margin in WMM history
celebration in New York: Irina Mikitenko together with her husband
Alexander and their son Alex. Their small daughter Vanessa was back
home in Germany.
With the biggest winning margin ever achieved in one of the three
finished World Marathon Majors (WMM) Series Irina Mikitenko took the
2008-2009 title. The 37 year-old collected 90 points from three wins
(London 2008 and 2009 as well as Berlin 2008) and one second place
(Chicago 2009). So she was 50 points clear of second placed Ethiopian
Dire Tune. It is likely that this winning margin will remain
unsurpassed for a longer time. A year ago Irina Mikitenko had also won
the closest WMM series. She was tied in first place with
Ethiopia’s Gete Wami, but other factors (for example number of
races and average time) were in favour of Irina Mikitenko.
Besides the biggest and the smallest winning margins Irina Mikitenko
produced another WMM superlative: She is the first runner to have won
two series and she still remains the only non African winner. Together
with the men’s champion Sammy Wanjiru (Kenya) Irina Mikitenko was
honoured in New York on Monday. Both received a symbolic cheque of
500,000 US Dollar, which is the winner’s prize.
“I am overjoyed to have won the WMM series for a second time.
This is a success which brings plenty of prestige since for a period of
two years you have to be extremely successful at the world’s best
quality and most spectacular marathons. This is not easy and such a
success can not come by coincidence or luck,” said Irina
Mikitenko in New York and added: “Putting aside my wins I really
like the concept of the World Marathon Majors. With this idea the five
race directors have managed to further increase attention to road
running and to develop our sport.”
| „The children are happy with my second place“
With her second place at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Irina
Mikitenko continued her series of high-class marathon results on
Sunday. From the five marathon races she has run so far during her
career she won three and took two second places. All these five races
belong to the World Marathon Majors. After the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon Irina Mikitenko gave the following interview:
How do you feel after coming in second?
Irina Mikitenko: I
think there is no
need to hide. A second place in Chicago is quite an achievement. May be
I am a little bit disappointed that I did not win, but Liliya Shobukova
was better prepared than me.
You had said before that she would be a strong contender.
Irina Mikitenko: Yes, I
to do well and I knew: If she would be still running in the leading
group at the final stages of the race she would be faster than me.
What helped Liliya Shobukova at the end was her tremendous track speed.
Would you have had better chances if the race had been clearly faster?
Irina Mikitenko: I
think so, but the
problem was that it was extremely cold. That was why the pace was so
slow. Additionally my preparation had been shorter than usual, so it
was not quite as good as before. Because of this I did not dare to pick
up the pace earlier. May be that was a tactical mistake, but I was not
sure if it would go well for me to run faster under these cicumstances.
In the final 10 k I pushed the pace, but I could not get away.
You have now won the World Marathon Majors Series 2008-2009.
Irina Mikitenko: Yes,
happen now and of course I am very happy about this, because it is a
very special success. You can only win the World Marathon Majors if you
are able to produce top results for two years.
What will you do now?
Irina Mikitenko: We have
holiday and will fly to Turkey. We are all looking forward to some warm
weather at the sea. The children have phoned me from home right after
the race and they were very happy about my second place. They had
realised how difficult my preparation was for this race.
What are your goals for 2010?
Irina Mikitenko: So far
I have no
definite plans for the spring. First of all I want to relax and
regenerate. I can well imagine running the 10,000 metres in the
European Championships in Barcelona next summer.
| Great second place in freezing Chicago
Mikitenko runs in freezing conditions.
With a fine second place at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon Irina
Mikitenko came back after not competing for almost half a year. The 37
year-old German was not yet in the kind of form as for example a year
ago, when she had broken the German record in Berlin with 2:19:19. That
was because she had missed plenty of training in summer, when her
father was critically ill at first and then died in July. But after
this very difficult period a second place at the high-class Chicago
race must be regarded as a great success for Irina Mikitenko. Only
Russia’s Liliya Shobukova, who clocked 2:25:56 on Sunday, was
faster than Irina Mikitenko, who reached the finish line in freezing
conditions in 2:26:31. “I think there is no need to hide
this performance. Coming in second in Chicago is quite an
achievement,” said Irina Mikitenko. Kenya’s Olympic
Champion Sammy Wanjiru took the men’s race with a course
Irina Mikitenko and Sammy Wanjiru have now definately secured their win
of the World Marathon Majors Series 2008-2009. They share a jackpot
prize of one million US Dollar. The two winners will be awarded their
prize at a ceremony in New York on 2nd November, a day after the
marathon which is the final race of the series. The advantage of
Mikitenko and Wanjiru in this series is such that they can not be
caught by the New York Marathon winners.
With temperatures just slightly above zero Celsius in Chicago the pace
of the women’s race was slow for a major part of the race.
leading group reached 5 k in 18:22 minutes and after that it was hardly
getting faster. Clocks showed 1:15:04 for half way. Irina Mikitenko
always ran in the first group and then took the initiative around ten
kilometres before the finish. But she was unable to surge away from her
rivals, who responded well. So at 40 k there were still four runners in
the leading group. Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso and defending
champion Lidiya Grigoryeva (Russia) were running together with Irina
Mikitenko and Liliya Shobukova.
„I knew that this would now be my terrain,“ said 31
year-old Liliya Shobukova. With a personal best of 14:23.75 minutes at
5,000 m the Russian is the fourth fastest ever at this distance and the
European record holder. With that sort of speed she burst away and
Irina Mikitenko was not able to follow her. But the German did still do
very well, finishing in front of Lidiya Grigoryeva (2:26:47), Teyba
Erkesso (2:26:56), Berhane Adere (Ethiopia/2:28:38) and Deena Kastor
(USA/2:28:50). The US record holder ran a fine marathon comeback after
breaking a foot in the Olympic marathon in 2008.
| “I am eager to run my US road race debut in
Next Sunday Irina Mikitenko will run the Bank of America Chicago
Marathon. Although she has not raced since winning the Flora London
Marathon in April the 37 year-old winner of the World Marathon Majors
(WMM) Series 2007-2008 is one of the big favourites in Chicago. And
with her London time of 2:22:11 she still leads the world list 2009.
Irina Mikitenko gave the following interview:
What are your thoughts regarding your first ever road race in the US?
So far only once you competed in America. That was at the Atlanta
Olympics back in 1996, when you ran the 5,000 m heats.
Irina Mikitenko: I am
eager to run my
US road race debut on Sunday, because there are a lot of big and
high-class races in America. And it is there where the running boom
once began and the first major city marathons were started. But I am
also curious to find out how my body will react to the time shift and
how everything else goes. The Bank of America Chicago Marathon will be
my third race of the five World Marathon Majors. So far I ran Berlin
and London. May be it will be possible for me to compete at all five.
After the death of your father in July you withdrew from the World
Championships’ Marathon in Berlin. When did you decide to run
Irina Mikitenko: I
properly again shortly before the World Championships. I did not put
any pressure on myself, I just wanted to see how my form developed.
Then I went to St Moritz in Switzerland for high altitude training on
30th August. There my form got better and better from week to week. So
I more and more tended to run another major race this year.
Additionally I did not like the idea of having a too long break without
competing, because the longer you wait the harder it gets to come back.
It was not easy psychologically to get back into training after the
death of my father. So I was hasitating for some time regarding my
decision to run or not to run in Chicago. I knew that this is quite a
challenge, because there is very good competition there and I expect it
to be a fast race as well.
How is your form? Can you compare it with the time before you clocked
2:19:19 in Berlin a year ago?
Irina Mikitenko: I
could train well
in St. Moritz and my form is okay. I had not as much time though in the
built-up than I had before other marathons, but I hope it was just
enough. I can not make any comparissons because the preparation was
different because of the shorter training period. But I was happy to be
able to train right to the end of September in St. Moritz, which is my
usual high altitude base. It got quite cold in the morning, but all in
all the weather was fine. I have never been up there so late in the
year before. They start skiing there soon!
How long was your longest single training run, also compared to former
built-ups. And up to how many kilometres did you train per week?
Irina Mikitenko: My
training run was 32 k while in former times I used to run up to 35 k.
For a certain period I managed to run 200 kilometres per week as in
other marathons preparations before. Since I had less time I decided to
put more emphasis on quality during the final part of the training for
Chicago. That means I ran faster in training but covered less
kilometers. I ran about 180 k per week in that final period.
What is your goal in Chicago?
Irina Mikitenko: It is
say what may be possible. But in general when I am running a big race I
always want to win and I give everything to achieve that. There are
strong contenders in this race, but I have to concentrate on myself.
Who do you think will be the strongest rivals?
Irina Mikitenko: I
expect that the
Russians will be strong – especially Liliya Shobukhova. She
third in London in April, when she ran her first marathon. She probably
was not able to show her full potential in that debut race. I also
expect that Ethiopia’s Teyba Erkesso could do very well. And
of course there is Deena Kastor, whose US record is just slightly
slower than my German record. And for her it will be some sort of a
home game on Sunday.
No matter what happens on Sunday – you have more or less
already won the World Marathon Majors Series 2008-2009.
Irina Mikitenko: There
are two more
races in this series. Right now I only concentrate on Chicago
Sunday’s race is number one and I will not care about
else until after the race. Then I will have a look at the
Is there a major goal you have for the future?
Irina Mikitenko: The
London Olympic Marathon in 2012 remains a huge goal. To run the classic
distance at the Olympic Games is something unique.
| Irina runs Chicago Marathon on 11th
Irina Mikitenko will run the Bank of America Chicago Marathon on 11th
October. It will be her first competition since her win at the Flora
London Marathon on 26th
April. Because of the death of her father the 37 year-old had cancelled
her start at the World Championships in Berlin. She had been regarded
as one of the big favourites before the event in August. Meanwhile
Irina Mikitenko feels ready again for a major marathon. It will be the
first time that she will run a road race in the US.
Irina Mikitenko will be up against tough opposition at the Bank of
America Chicago Marathon, which belongs to the World Marathon Majors
(WMM) Series. While she is the German record holder with a time of
2:19:19 Iirina Mikitenko will meet the US record holder Deena Kastor
(2:19:36), who has won a bronze medal at the Olympic marathon race in
Athens in 2004. Kastor has already won the Chicago race four years ago.
Among the other strong opponents is Russia’s Liliya
She ran an excellent debut at the Flora London Marathon in April,
placing third in 2:24:24.
Only once so far has Irina Mikitenko competed in the US. That was back
in 1996 at the Atlanta Olympics. She was still competing for Kazaksthan
at that time, it was shortly before she moved to Germany. Irina
Mikitenko missed qualifying for the 5,000 m final in Atlanta. Now she
comes to Chicgao after winning three major marathons: London and Berlin
in 2008 as well as London again this year.
| European Athlete of the Month
European Athletics is pleased to announce that German marathon star
Irina Mikitenko and Estonian Olympic Discus champion Gerd Kanter have
been selected as the European Athletes of the Month for April.
Mikitenko caused a sensation last year when she won the Flora London
Marathon for the first time, but this year her victory was less of a
surprise when the German crossed the line in a world-leading
performance of 2:22:11.
The former Kazakhstan athlete, who set a new German record of 2:19:19
when she won the Berlin Marathon last September, has now placed herself
at the top of the world rankings, currently leads the world marathon
majors table by a huge 35-point margin and is favourite to land the
$500,000 top prize at the end of the year.
The 36-year-old, who finished fifth in the Sydney Olympic 5,000m in
2000, will compete at the IAAF World Championships in Berlin. With a
second London victory already under her belt she will be a favourite
for victory in front of her passionate home supporters.
Irina Mikitenko is eager to pass on her training knowledge to fun
runners and ambitioned athletes. This is why she started cooperating
with the Swiss online training planner VICSYSTEM.COM. Runners get
individual training schedules according to their abilities and goals.
The runners-up in the women's poll were Norwegian double Olympic 20km
Walk silver medallist Kjersti Tysse Plaetzer and Polish Pole Vaulter
Sonia Grabowska. The European Athlete of the Month initiative was
launched in January 2007 and is designed to recognise outstanding
performers at all levels of the sport in Europe.
European Athletics names a male and female winner each month and
features the athlete on the European Athletics website. Selections are
based on votes by the public, the media and a panel of European
Athletics experts, with each counting for 33.3 percent of the final
For more information, please visit: www.european-athletics.org
| "Now I hope for a World Championships' medal"
Mikitenko with the trophy in front of the Tower Bridge.
Having won the Flora London Marathon for a second consecutive time
Irina Mikitenko now hopes for a medal at the World
Championships’ Marathon in Berlin on 23rd August. Clocking
the second best time ever in her marathon career with 2:22:11 the 36
year-old also achieved a world leading result. After the Flora London
Marathon Irina Mikitenko gave the following interview:
Some time after your victory, how do you feel now and how do you rate
Irina Mikitenko: “I
am still very, very happy. Each victory is unique, but winning for a
second time in London is extra special for me. This means a lot to me,
because if you go into such a major race as the defending champion you
mentally carry quite a burden. I was not quite sure how to handle this
best and the days before the start were not easy. I desperately wanted
to win again, but I asked myself what would happen if I would come in
second? Although you have to say that in a race like the Flora London
Marathon even third place is a great result. To have won the race gives
me a lot of confidence, especially regarding the World Championships in
Were you surprised that the likes of Constantina Dita, Catherine
Ndereba, Gete Wami and Berhane Adere never showed up in the leading
“Yes, indeed. I had expected that they would all be there. I
thought we would see a similar race as last year, where we had a much
bigger leading group with all the favourites.”
Have you had contact with your two children, Alexander and Vanessa?
Irina Mikitenko: “They
were staying at my parents and they all watched the race on TV. I think
they were so excited that they already turned on the TV on Saturday
evening and did not leave until the race was over! Right after I
finished they sent text messages and later we used Skype to talk and
see each other on the screen. They were all extremely happy to see me
winning. My small daughter had said, Mummy, please run fast so that you
get back home sooner. Now she is disappointed after she learnt that I
did run fast but will come back home even later because of the
winner’s press conference and promotion activities on
What will you do prior to the World Championships in Berlin?
Irina Mikitenko: “There
is not that much time if you prepare for a marathon. I will have a
two-week break now to recover and then preparations for Berlin will
begin. Unfortunately I will probably not be able to run any more races
in the spring because of the built-up for Berlin. That is a pity
because my form is so good now. But the World Championships will have
priority. It is likely that the marathon in Berlin will be my next
race. My training schedule will be similar to last year in the spring
and summer though I will try to increase mileage a bit. I will again go
to St. Moritz for high altitude training.”
What will be your goal in Berlin?
Irina Mikitenko: “I
hope to win a medal – even if it should get hot,
which I don’t like. After London I know that I am now
regarded as a favourite. I don’t particular like this
position, but I have shown in London that I am mentally strong and that
I am able to handle this.”
Looking at the World Marathon Majors rankings it looks very likely that
you will become the first runner to win it two times in a row.
Irina Mikitenko: “In
the 2008-2009 series I am in really good position. Making up 35 points
will be really difficult for the other runners. And I can still add
further points from one more race. So I have a great chance of winning
again, but: never say never.”
| Second triumph at Flora London Marathon
Mikitenko shows the way in London, leading Mara Yamauchi and Zhou
In superb style Irina Mikitenko has defended her title as the Flora
London Marathon champion. The 36 year-old won the world’s
one city marathon with a world lead of 2:22:11, beating the
surprisingly strong Mara Yamauchi (Great Britain/2:23:12) and
Russia’s debutant Liliya Shobukova (2:24:24). It is the
fastest time of the German national record holder (2:19:19), who after
an initial second place in Berlin in 2007 won all her following three
London seems to be the perfect place for Irina Mikitenko. Three times
she has run road races in the British capital and three times she won.
On Sunday Irina Mikitenko left behind the likes of Constantina Dita
(Olympic Champion from Romania) as well as Catherine Ndereba (World
Champion from Kenya). In between her two Flora London Marathon wins
Irina Mikitenko also took a 10 k road race in London.
Having won a second Flora London Marathon Irina Mikitenko has put
herself in the position of being the favourite of this
world championships in Berlin. The marathon will be staged on 23rd
which will be Irina’s 37th
birthday. “I am so happy after winning the Flora London
again, but I don’t like the role of the favourite for the
championships,” said Irina Mikitenko, who admitted that she
quite some pressure on the days before the London race. “To
in London for a second time was much more difficult than winning the
first time. It is different if you come to a race as the defending
Irina Mikitenko is now also the favourite of the World Marathon
Majors’ (WMM) Series 2008-2009. After she had already won the
2007-2008 series she now leads with a maximum points’ tally
out of three races (wins in London in 2008 and 2009 plus Berlin 2008).
Irina Mikitenko is 35 points clear at the top and could earn the
500,000 Dollar bonus for a second time. It is a similar situation in
the men’s series, where the Flora London Marathon winner also
35 points ahead: Olympic champion Sammy Wanjiru so far has 65 points.
Irina Mikitenko’s impressive success earned her 80,000 US
in prize money and time bonuses in a race where she took control early
on. As the defending champion from Germany reached halfway on Tower
Bridge in 1:10:53 along with the British runner Mara Yamauchi, showing
surprisingly strong form and the Chinese Zhou Chunxiu, the London
Marathon winner in 2007; at the same time the World Champion Catherine
Ndereba (Kenya) and the Olympic champion from Romania, Constantina
Dita, were already over a minute behind. They never posed a threat to
Mikitenko. It was a different matter in the case of Mara Yamauchi.
After the Olympic bronze medallist Chunxiu had dropped back at 28 k,
the British runner who had finished sixth in Beijing proved to be
Mikitenko’s strongest opponent and refused to be shaken off
the German. “I knew that Mara wanted to run 2:22 but I
could beat her if it came to a sprint finish,” said Mikitenko
has much better basic speed than the Briton. The decisive split was
between 35 and 40 kilometres when Mikitenko pressed home her attack,
building a lead which was just over a minute over Yamauchi (2:23:12) at
the finish. Taking a surprising third place was the Russian Liliya
Shobukova in 2:24:24 on her marathon debut.
“When I was in front I had to keep pushing the pace so the
chasing group couldn’t close the gap. That wasn’t
because we were running into the wind in the second half,”
Irina Mikitenko who became the first woman since the Briton Paula
Radcliffe to successfully defend the title. The world record holder
achieved her victories in 2002 and 2003. Next year Mikitenko could
equal the London record of Katrin Doerre-Heinig: the only other
previous German winner of the race beside the River Thames achieved a
hat-trick from 1992 to ’94.
On a day which attracted 36,000 runners the Olympic champion Sammy
Wanjiru of Kenya produced a great run. He won a thrilling duel with
Tsegay Kebede, running 2:05:10 to beat the Ethiopian by ten seconds.
The time was a course record by the 22-year-old and the ninth-fastest
in history. Jaouad Gharib of Morocco finished third in 2:05:27.
5. Berhane Adere
| „I have trained well and want to win in London“
Mikitenko will be
the defending champion in Sunday’s Flora London Marathon. In
autumn she became the first non-African runner to win a World Marathon
Majors (WMM) Series. Before that she had taken the Berlin Marathon with
a German record of 2:19:19. With this personal best the 36 year-old
ranks as the fourth fastest runner ever in athletics history. Irina
Mikitenko gave the following interview:
What are your goals at the Flora London Marathon?
Irina Mikitenko: I
always go to races
with the same intention: I want to be the winner. I know that the Flora
London Marathon will be a very tough race, but I am prepared for this.
Going into a race saying I want to finish third or fourth is not my way
of doing it. I know that I have trained well and I will give my best on
All three medallists from Beijing will be in the race – what
sort of race do you expect?
Irina Mikitenko: London’s
women’s elite field is one of the best I have ever seen at a
major city marathon. There are a number of very strong runners. But I
can not judge who may be the strongest because I have not seen recent
results from them. In London you never know what sort of race you get:
Last year I expected a fast one, but it got tactical. You have to be
ready for both. If it should become tactical one will have to think at
what stage it is best to take the initiative.
As a defending champion do you feel you are under more pressure?
Irina Mikitenko: Expectations
surely higher than a year ago, but I don’t let myself put
pressure. What helps is that I know the Flora London Marathon. A year
ago everything was new for me – the mile markers on the
the drink stations and so one. Running the same race a second time is
always easier. I look forward to the Flora London Marathon.
You are the leader of the third World Marathon Majors Series 2008-2009.
How close do you watch the changes of the rankings?
Irina Mikitenko: I
too much about the WMM now, because first of all I have to run well in
London. If I run well I will get the points anyway. Of course I know
where I stand in the series, it is not difficult to calculate that. But
before a race I don’t start thinking what could change in the
points’ table. If you start doing this you can forget about
Did you watch the Boston Marathon on TV?
Irina Mikitenko: Yes I
race and hoped that Kara Goucher would win. Because she had worked so
hard at the front of the field – but probably she lost too
energy by doing this. Tactics play a major role in such a marathon.
As in 2008 you trained in Kirgisia – why did you go there?
Irina Mikitenko: I know
the area from
former times. When I lived in Kazachstan I used to train there. My
parents in law still live nearby, which is helpful for us, because they
were able to take care of our small daughter while we went to the
training camp. What is decisive for me is that I am able to train in an
altitude between 1,600 and 1,700 metres in Kirgisia. It is the same
altitude as in St. Moritz, where I train in the summer. There is no
snow in Kirgisia and we had perfect weather conditions for four weeks
in March. I don’t like to train in higher regions in Kenya or
USA because you need more time to recover. An altitude of between 1,600
and 1,700 metres is ideal for me, because I can train 100 percent hard
What was your maximum mileage and how is your form compared to a year
Irina Mikitenko: I was
increase my weekly mileage by ten percent compared to a year ago. So I
ran up to 220 kilometres per week and the longest single run was 35 k.
But it is difficult to compare to last year, because there are always
differences. For example we had plenty of snow in January, which made
training difficult then. When I ran the 10 k in Paderborn at Easter I
felt fine despite the sudden very warm weather conditions. I also felt
good during my recent speed training runs. So I think my form is
similar to last year, when I came here – I can only tell you
after the race if it might be even better than in 2008.
| Train like Irina with Vicsystem
Fun runners and ambitioned athletes can now gain from
knowledge of Irina Mikitenko, who has started to cooperate with
VICSYSTEM, a proven Swiss online training planner. With VICSYSTEM it is
possible to create individual training plans for distances between
5,000 m and up to the marathon.
Irina Mikitenko, who will be the defending champion in next
Sunday’s Flora London Marathon, has broken the 2:20 barrier
when winning Berlin in 2008. With a world lead of 2:19:19 she became
the fourth fastest runner of all times. In November 2008 Irina
Mikitenko was the first Non-African winner of a World Marathon Majors
Irina Mikitenko has studied sport. She is a sports teacher and also has
a German coaching licence. Together with her husband Alexander, a
13:39.95 5,000 m runner, she plans her own training schedules.
managing director Patric Lüthi goes for Irina Mikitenko.
Now Irina Mikitenko passes on her knowledge and experience to VICSYSTEM
(www.vicsystem.com), which stands for „run to victory
– irina’s training system“. With
thousands of members VICSYSTEM is already a leading online training
planner in German speaking countries. But it is also available online
in English. Since the beginning of 2006 VICSYSTEM cooperates with elite
runners to offer training schedules from 5,000 m onwards. VICSYSTEM is
suitable for all levels of running, from the fun runner to the
ambitioned athlete. The programme also adjusts individually if the
performance ability of the runner should change, for example because of
“We are proud to be supported by Irina. With her help we are
able to gain more long distance training know-how and add this to our
training system,” said Patric Lüthi, the founder and
managing director of VICSYSTEM. “With Irina’s
support we make sure that fun runners as well as elite runners can
profit from the knowledge of one of the world’s best
Irina Mikitenko looks forward to this new challenge:
“Naturally as a sports teacher I am interested in passing on
my experience as an elite runner to other runners, so that they are
able to train properly. With VICSYSTEM I have found the ideal partner
to do just this and reach a large number of people.”
Runners who use VICSYSTEM receive a regularly published newsletter with
up to date information on training science and various other topics in
conjunction with their training. In future Irina Mikitenko will join
training camps organised by VICSYSTEM to pass on her knowledge directly
to the participants.
More information is available at: www.vicsystem.com
| Irina Mikitenko takes Paderborn and is ready for London
Irina Mikitenko is back in top form: Clocking a very fast 31:22 minutes
she took the 10 k race of the traditional Paderborn Easter Race in
convincing style in Germany on Saturday. The defending champion clearly
is on schedule for the Flora London Marathon on 26th April. The German
marathon record holder (2:19:19) clocked the second fastest time in the
world this year and the second fastest ever by a German.
Mikitenko’s performance was the highlight of the Paderborner
Osterlauf. A record number of more than 8,000 runners had entered the
“I am happy with this result. It is a time which suits me
because it was my aim to run 31:30 today,” said 36 year-old
Mikitenko, who dominated the race after taking the lead at 4 k. She
then passed the 5 k point on schedule in 15:45 minutes and was able to
run the second half slightly faster. Finishing with 31:22 she was more
than a minute ahead of Kenyans Sally Barsosio (32:25) and Alice Mogire
Irina Mikitenko had returned from her high altitude training camp in
Kirgisia last Monday. She had stayed there for four weeks and was able
to train very well. “Running on the fifth day after coming
from high altitude is probably not ideal, but it is all scheduled for
London and Paderborn was just a test,” said Irina Mikitenko.
Regarding the sudden very warm weather with temperatures between 23 and
25° Celsius she said: “I felt it was a little bit too
especially because of the sudden change of temperature.”
Irina Mikitenko’s time is the second fastest in the world
year behind Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya), who had won in Puerto Rico with
31:12. Mikitenko’s German record from 2008 stands at 30:57
minutes. Winning in Paderborn is a good omen for Irina Mikitenko. A
year ago she had taken the half marathon of the event and then went on
to win in London.
01.03.2009 | Irina third at Rome Ostia Half Marathon
Irina Mikitenko started her 2009 campaign with a third place. On the
difficult course of the Rome Ostia Half Marathon she clocked 71:01
minutes. “This course was like a mountain race, it was
constantly going up and down. I had not been prepared for something
like this. Additionally at the end it was getting wet and
windy,” said Irina Mikitenko, who felt okay with the third
place and the time.
“It was good training for me with some unplanned mountain
running units in between, which is good for my strength. On a flat
course I could have run about one minute faster. That is fine for my
present situation. If I would run 68 minutes at this stage something
would be wrong regarding the built-up for the Flora London
Marathon,” said Irina Mikitenko, who will enter the race on
26th April as the defending champion. Britain’s world record
holder Paula Radcliffe will be among her rivals in London. Preparing
for the marathon Irina Mikitenko plans to run a 10 k race in the first
part of April. In the past few weeks the training of the national
marathon record holder (2:19:19) had been hampered by very cold weather
and snow in Germany. Irina Mikitenko hopes that she will have better
conditions from now on.
In Rome the 36 year-old had run her own pace from the start. Anna
Incerti (Italy) was the race winner with 69:24 minutes while Christelle
Daunay (France/70:30) took second and Rosaria Console (Italy/73:20)
fourth. The men’s race was won by Kenya’s Elijah
Keitany with 60:59.