Probably the third placed woman in the race was more happy than the winner:
While Lenah Cheruiyot from Kenyan crossed the line in the 10 k race of the AVON
RUNNING 20th Berlin Womens Race in Tiergarten after 33:26 minutes, last years
winner Kathrin Weßel (Berlin) just caught Sonja Oberem (Leverkusen) on
the home straight to take second place in 33:34. But third place in 33:39 was
all but disappointing for Sonja Oberem. It was her first race for nearly seven
months. “I am very happy to have been able to run so well. It was just in
the end that due to the pace I had not enough stamina“, said the
30-year-old. “It was great to run here in Berlin again.“ Second
placed Kathrin Weßel will be running in the Regensburg Marathon next
Sunday. “After that I will decide which races will be next“, the
runner from SCC Berlin said.
The AVON RUNNING womens race was the perfect venue for Sonja Oberems
comeback. A record number of 10,528 women and girls from 44 nations competed in
the 20th edition of the 5 and 10 k event. Fears that Sonja Oberem might end her
career due to a back problem have vanished on the roads of Berlin.
In hot weather with temperatures of around 30 degrees Celcius, Sonja Oberem
– the best German marathon runner after the passed era of Katrin
Dörre-Heinig and Uta Pippig – pushed the pace for the major part of
the 10 k race. It was just in the last part of the race that she could not hold
the lead. Lenah Cheruiyot then won in convincing style. Katrin
Dörre-Heinig was also in the race, finishing fifth in 36:12 minutes.
When Sonja Oberem did not get rid of an inflammation of the sciatic nerve
the breakdown came after the Athens Marathon on 3rd November last year. It had
already been the fourth marathon race of the year for Sonja Oberem, who has an
outstanding World Championships record in the marathon. Since Gothenburg in
1995 she has constantly progressed until Edmonton, finishing 8th, 7th, 6th and
finally 5th in 2001. But Athens last year was one too much for Sonja Oberem.
She had won Hamburg in April, took the bronze medal in the European
Championships in August, ran the real,- BERLIN MARATHON in September (not
seriously, but in 2:40:44 despite a stop for a TV interview) and finally won
Athens. “After that I was finished. I had this back problem and was
completely burnt out. I had no motivation and no fun in running any more. For
months I was only cycling and I have thought of putting an end to
It was Mark Milde, Berlins elite athletes manager, who then phoned Sonja
Oberem and convinced her to run in Berlins womens race for the first time. That
was a goal the athlete from Bayer Leverkusen needed. It was only six weeks ago
that she had started running again. “But during all my training since
then I have never run as fast as in todays race“, Sonja Oberem said.
Running in Berlin brought her back the fun in her sport. “It was a great
experience for me to run in a race with 10,000 women and the atmosphere was
superb.“ Now she believes that she could still make it to Paris.
“But I will only go, if I am in a certain shape. I will not travel to the
World Championships as a tourist.“ Berlin might have paved the way for
Paris for Sonja Oberem.