2008 London Marathon
The Men's Race Complete Recap/Commentary
The Women's Race Complete Recap/Commentary
On Demand Race Video on WCSN
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Men's Pre Race Press Conference Notes
Women's Pre Race Press Conference Notes
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London Marathon - Women's Pre Race Press Conference Notes
The elite women's field at the 2008 London Marathon is proof that age may not matter when it comes to the marathon distance. The average age of the top female contenders at the London Marathon is thirty-five years and many of these women are mothers who have bounced back from childbirth and returned to distance running. MarathonGuide.com spoke with Berhane Adere, Gete Wami, Svetlana Zakharova, Lyudmila Petrova, Constantina Dita, Salina Kosgei and Irina Mititenko before race weekend.
How has your training been?
Wami: I am in good condition. After New York [November 2007 and just 34 days after Wami ran the Berlin Marathon] I had some hamstring injuries, but I have fully recovered from that and am doing extremely well.
Was it risky running New York so close to Berlin due to your hamstring problems in the past?
Wami: At the time I was healthy after Berlin, so I didn't anticipate any problem.
Petrova: Last year I had lots of problems with my legs. I didn't run London or New York. This year I had good training.
Adere: I am in good shape. I do not know if I will win the race. I had a knee and muscle injury to my right side in the last year.
Dita: Training is very well. I have a cold, but I will be better on Sunday. Last year I had an injury before the World Championships in Osaka and (after the race) I was out for months.
Kosgei: For three weeks I was affected by the trouble in Kenya. I couldn't train at all. I stayed in the house and couldn't go to town. I just ate what was in the house.
Zakharova: After having a baby, I ran in Frankfurt and it was preparation for London.
Is your perspective on the sport different now as a mother?
Zakharova: Now, it's not only the responsibility running for myself, it's a responsibility to my family.
What is your motivation for training/racing?
Petrova: I am a professional athlete and the sport is my job. I make the money for my family. [Petrova's husband passed away in 1995 and Petrova is a single mother to a 13 and 18 year old.] I love the sport and it's my job and I do the job well for the family.
Dita: I have my motivation from my son.
Do you train with a group or running partner?
Dita: I run solo for everything. I live in Boulder and don't really train with other people.
Kosgei: I train with men. I have my own pacemaker who runs all the time with me.
Mititenko: I have no training partner, but my husband usually trains with me on a bike, but I train all alone in Frankfurt.
What is your strategy for this Sunday's London Marathon?
Kosgei: I expect to do a personal best time.
Mititenko: I want to improve on Sunday. I know I didn't run as good in Berlin as I could have done.
Do you wish you made your debut three to four years earlier?
Mititenko: I was physically ready, but not in my mind. So I waited until I felt I could do it. And I know I still can improve.
Do you plan to run the Olympics?
Adere: I have not decided if I am doing the 10,000 or marathon.
Petrova: If I run well here maybe I will go back. I am not young. Last time I was there I was eighth place. I will make my decision based on my performance here and fitness post-race.
Zakharova: I believe a 2:22-2:25 will be enough to make the Russian team. Yes, I plan to run if I qualify.
Dita: I am ready for Beijing, but have no plans for acclimation yet.
What are the Russian Federation's plans for the Olympic team?
Petrova: After May 1, the Russian Federation will chose from the best spring marathon (finish). Top three with best results.
Baranov [Petrova's agent]: There will be a team training camp in Vladivaslok to adjust to the time zone. Nothing is in place to adjust to the weather conditions or pollution.
What are the Ethiopian Federation qualifications for the Olympic Team?
Wami: It's based on time. Times already run or ones that are run now.
How is the Kenyan Federation selecting their Olympic team?
Kosgei: London will be the determinate. If I run good maybe I will be selected for the team. The Federation is here and [if I make it] they will tell me in person.