Maisch sensationally won gold in the marathon at the European Championships in
Gothenburg. The German ran a new personal best of 2:30:01 hours, finishing in
the Ullevi Stadium. It was her second marathon this year, after she had run in
Hamburg in April. In November 2004 she had a foot surgery.
You are the first German to have won an international
marathon title. How does it feel?
<p">Ulrike Maisch: „That is fantastic. I still can’t believe it.
I never had thought about winning the marathon here or even winning a medal. A
place among the top eight was my goal. So I guess I will be in the history
When did you realize that you would win the
Ulrike Maisch: „First I had not thought about gold. As I saw
the third runner in front of me I wanted to pass her so badly since a fourth
place would have been the worst place. When I passed her, I knew that she
wouldn’t be able to overtake me again. I know that if I pass somebody she is
not able to pass me again. Then I suddenly saw the second placed runner and I
couldn’t believe it. When I then saw the leading Russian I chased her and
finally took the lead. I then realized that I would win the race and thought
about my family in the stadium and my friends in front of the TV. Then I
suddenly saw the stadium approaching and almost started to cry.“
The conditions of the race weren’t that good.
Was it nevertheless a perfect race?
Ulrike Maisch: „Definitely. There couldn’t have been better
conditions for me. It just rained slightly and the wind wasn’t a problem since
I had run in the group for a long time. There I was protected from the wind. When
I started to run alone the wind wasn’t that bad anymore. The course was great
for me. I like it when it is a bit hilly and here in Gothenburg the course was
hilly. The initial pace was very slow and that was as well perfect for me.”
Weren’t you a little bit alarmed when the
Russians increased the pace?
Ulrike Maisch: „No, because I knew that I would have to run
my own race and I wouldn’t have run with them anyway. I thought they would be
faster at the beginning. But it was good for me that they didn’t, so I was able
to get them in the end. If I would have stayed with them I wouldn’t have been
able to keep up in the end.”
How did you prepare for the European Championships?
Ulrike Maisch: „I have trained in St. Moritz in Switzerland. That was good since I already
trained in a hilly environment. That paid off here. I was running about 150 k a
week, but I have to say that I am a runner who does not do high mileage. I
rather go hiking or do aqua jogging. I was in a very good shape and I proved it
You were running your first marathon in 2000.
What did you do before?
Ulrike Maisch: „I did multiple track events first and my dad
used to coach me. Then the wall came down and somehow I stuck with running. It
was the event I liked the most. When I was younger I used to run between 3,000
and 10,000 metres on the track. My first marathon was in Berlin in 2000. I
clocked 2:40 and my coach said I should continue running marathons. He said
taking into account the limited preparations I did the result was very good. So
that is why I am running the marathon now. So far I was able to improve my
personal best at every single marathon I ran.”
<p">You are now the European Champion. What is
Ulrike Maisch: „First of all I have to realize that it all
real. I know that those chances, to win an international title, won’t come
often. At World Championships or Olympic Games the Asians as well as the
Africans are too strong. I will prepare now for my next marathon. I want to run
the New York City Marathon. I always wanted to go there once so as I am invited
now, I should take the opportunity. My goal is to clock sub 2:31 hours and the
hilly course in New York should suit me. Sure I know that I won’t be able to
run for one of the first positions, but maybe I can finish within the top ten.“
You don’t look like the typical runner. Is that
<p">Ulrike Maisch: „For me it is an advantage. I have never been
as skinny as most runners. I personally think that this is why I have the power
to come back in the end of a race. It happens quite often that I am passing
runners in the final part because everybody else is getting tired.”