FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
A FAMILY AFFAIR AT BERLIN MARATHON
As a nine year old, Sabrina Mockenhaupt recalls watching the first Berlin
Marathon to be run though the reunified city, shortly after the Wall came
down, in 1990. But, like with her parents going out running in all
weathers, she didn't quite get it.
"I watched Uta Pippig win that first race through the former East and West
of Berlin, but really it was boring watching. I admired the people running,
but I didn't understand my parents going out in bad weather".
She finally go the message aged 16, and started running in secondary
school, and 20 years after that first visit to what is now the German
capital, Mocki, as she's known to the national media sets out to emulate
Pippig in the real_Berlin Marathon on Sunday morning, and maybe even better
dad's best of 2.24.59, set in Hamburg(she thinks), back when she was the
Fred Mockenhaupt will be following on his bike on Sunday - "I doubt he
could do four hours for the marathon now," she says - while mother,
Hildegard, "Will probably do about 20k herself, running point to point on
the course. She could probably still do 3.30".
With her own best of 2.26.22, she and Fred hold the father-daughter world
record, and not to be outdone, Hildegard's 2.40.41, also in Hamburg (she
thinks) two decades ago, gives them the mother-daughter world record.
To complete the family affair, her twin Markus got serious about running
even later than she did. "He can run about 33 minutes for 10k, and I'm
coaching him, so that he can pace me in future". She'll soon get an angle
on that, since Markus is running his debut marathon in Frankfurt in a
Mocki's best came in winning Frankfurt two years ago, and she's twice won
on the difficult course in Koln (Cologne), where she is a member of the
local club, although she still lives and trains in her birthplace of
Siegen, some 100k south-east.
Up to now, she's combined track with marathons, with a best 10,000 metres
of 31.14.21 for 13th at the Beijing Olympics, "but I think I'll be
concentrating on the road from now on".
An argument over failure to share the pace in a track race with naturalised
German Irina Mikitenko a couple of years ago got inflated by the media into
a Miki/Mocki mutual hate campaign, but with Miki's sub-2.20 and winning the
Marathon Majors' jackpot last year, Mocki has conceded that at the moment
she isn't really a contender. The pair have duly made up, with Mocki
saying, "To achieve what Irina has done is really great, and she has given
me some good advice". Miki duly reciprocated with, "I think Sabrina has got
a great talent, but you need more to succeed at the marathon. If she can
apply herself, she can run much faster".
With six world records here in the last dozen years, the most recent being
Haile Geb's 2.03.59 two years ago, Mocki acknowledges that, if she's going
to make a great leap forward, it's going to be here.
And coming back here involves some unfinished business. She's loath to
spell it out, but she obviously feels she was press-ganged by the national
federation into running the world champs (on a different course) here in
Berlin last year - she finished 17th in 2.30.07.
"Everyone says the Berlin course is fast, and I've been reluctant to come
in the past, because of all the pressure if you don't do well. But I think
I'm ready now, I'll like to go under 2.25".
She may need to go substantially under that time in order to win, given
that principal opponents, Bezunesh Bekele and Aberu Kebede of Ethiopia and
Tomo Morimoto of Japan have run 2.23.09, 2.24.26 and 2.24.33 respectively.
Bezunesh and Morimoto both joined Mocki at this morning press conference in
Berlin, duly repeating the mantra, "I want to run a personal best".
They'd be well-advised to get away from Mocki, and out of sight as soon as
possible. As a member of the German Army sports team, she attended her
final duties six months ago. After two months fatigues in the forests
around Hannover, she was awarded the gold star - for sharp-shooting!