News Archive

News Archive

AVON RUNNING: A great comeback by Sonja Oberem

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.