News Archive

News Archive

bin there, done that!

Sonja Oberem is one of the most successful and elegant marathon runners in

Europe. Her success in winning last years ATHENS CLASSIC MARATHON was evident,

but the elegance was not, since due to a monsoon rain, she wore a black plastic

bag - known as a bin bag or trash bag - for much of the route.

Shes hoping for a repeat win on Sunday, without the repeat weather. And the

omens on that score are good, with a forecast of 10-12 degrees centigrade for

the 08.30 start in the village of Marathon, rising to the high-teens for the

finish in the marble Panathenaikon Stadium, built in central Athens for the

inaugural Modern Olympics in 1896. The course will be used again for the

Olympics of 2004, hence the Classic title, but it was something of a surprise

to see Oberem here this year, since she won bronze in the European

Championships marathon just two months ago, and even turned out in the Berlin

Marathon five weeks ago, though that was in the guise of a German TV

commentator. Even stopping for interviews en route, she still ran 2hr


"I recovered really well after the Europeans," said Oberem at

todays launch press conference, "and Berlin was just like a long Sunday

run for me. Thats why I decided to come back. It is the classic course, and the

whole atmosphere is a particular attraction. As for the weather, we e

professionals nowadays, you have to take what comes, but I think its going to

be better than last year". Oberem began her competitive career as a

triathlete, winning two world junior and two European senior titles, but since

switching to the marathon in the mid-90s, she has racked up top ten places in

the Olympics and world championships, and many of the top city races, such as

Boston, New York and London. "I still include cycling in my training, but

not swimming," she said. Except last year in Athens.

Pat Butcher