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Zeiten reizen mich nicht beim Marathon
Story

Times don't appeal to me in a marathon

Sixth place in Hamburg. European champion Richard Ringer beat the Olympic standard for Paris 2024 with his time of 2:08:08. What's next for him and what drives him

Words: Agata Strausa
Photos: Fellusch

The reigning European marathon champion Richard Ringer made a clear announcement before the Hamburg Marathon at the end of April. Actually unusual for the otherwise reserved 34-year-old. In an Instagram post, he talked about wanting to celebrate with a time of 2:07 at the finish. This got people talking in the running scene. It didn't turn out that fast, but at least he was able to improve his best time at the Hamburg Marathon and meet the Olympic standard. Even if his ticket to Paris isn't secured, the Olympics are now within his reach. After winning European Championship gold last year, things are going well for the man from LC Rehlingen this season too. In addition to his strong sixth place in Hamburg, he had previously won the German title in the half marathon. What's next for him?

más: You ran 2:08:08 hours in Hamburg, not quite the 2:07 time you wanted to run. How did the race feel – and how satisfied are you?

Richard: I'm very happy to have run the Olympic standard. Of course I was hoping for a little more, because with a time of 2:07 you have more of a buffer against the competition. But in the end it worked out quite well.

The German record is 2:06:27. How often do you think about cracking it one day?

To be honest, I don't think about the records at all. I only base myself on what my body is capable of doing. My best time before was 2:08:49 and now I have increased that. Of course, I want to improve my best time next time and will focus on my performance little by little. I'm excited to see what comes out.

You are the reigning European champion. How much pressure does that put on you this season?

The European championship title is a gift, it was a really great achievement. But that doesn't put me under any pressure at all. If the media formulates any goals, that doesn't have to concern me. I formulate my own goals. I don't take my cue from others. That's what I said before the race: I won't let others influence me if they want to go faster. I'm doing my thing. That's always best. You should simply enjoy running and maintain your passion. I don't need to put myself under pressure.

What are your season plans for 2023? What other races are you planning?

This is relatively difficult to say because it is not yet clear how the association's nomination guidelines are determined. Is this enough time for Paris or not? The whole planning is based on this. I hope that's enough for me to focus. Otherwise, I think it would be cool if I started at the Half Marathon World Championships in Riga on October 1st and then attacked my best time. So running close to 60 minutes is definitely a big goal this year.

What was the content of your last hard training session before Hamburg?

It's always relatively difficult to answer what's hard... Fourteen days before the Hamburg Marathon, I did 6 x 3 kilometers on Sunday, with a 1 kilometer break in between. That means the 3 kilometers were always 9:15 in total, but I started with 3:15, then 3:05 and the last in 2:55. The break was then in 3:45. In the end it was 24 kilometers of effort, with running in and out a total of 32 kilometers.

What is the appeal of the marathon for you?

In any case, times don't appeal to me in the marathon, as the world leaders are relatively far away. What I think is great is that something different matters at international championships. You can beat athletes who are a few minutes faster than you. If you plan meticulously, face the weather conditions and prepare well. It just excites me that I can achieve a lot in terms of placement. And I showed that at the European Championships, even though I was far away from the top three placements during my time. That's just great about the marathon.

Thank you for the interview!

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