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Olympic marathoner Maxwell motors to victory in Vienna

Our London Olympian Tanith Maxwell surprised even herself by racing to victory in the Vienna City Marathon in Austria on Sunday, writes Mark Etheridge.

Maxwell ran the marathon in London last year, where she clocked a time of 2hr 40min 27min to end 81st of 118 competitors.

The KwaZulu-Natal based athlete freely admits to going through a dip in form, post Olympics, but this win should do wonders for her confidence.

In Vienna she clocked 77min 17sec, comfortably beating Italian Birgit Steinwandter into the runners-up position (82:03).

Speaking to Road to Rio 2016, Maxwell said: “It was a nice surprise for me too and although the time was nothing great, it’s just nice to be enjoying my running again!

“I really took a huge slump after the Olympics, but things are starting to come right. I was initially invited to Vienna to take part in the marathon, but I knew I was in no shape and was fortunate enough to get the nod for the half marathon

“The race itself was amazing and it was made extra special by having Ethiopia’s Haile Gebrselasie there racing in the half as well!”

Maxwell took the lead from the gun. “Unfortunately my over ambitious pace in the first half meant that I was hurting the second half of the race.”

She went on to rave about the finish area. “The setting at the finish was fantastic ÔÇô a yellow carpet for the final 200m which is the international color for adidas this year and of course they were the main sponsor.”

The splits for the 36-year-old Kloof athlete were 17:20 for 5km and 35:16 for the 10km mark.

Referring back to her post Olympic blues, Maxwell says: “I guess after nine years with one goal on my mind it becomes difficult to get back into training and focus on something else. My build-up in 2012 was a nightmare and I went to Rotterdam to qualify for the Olympics while I was still recovering from an Achilles injury. It was very stressful and I was so close to not making it. I think that played a part too and I seemed to be playing catch-up the whole year.”

Her next marathon? “I don’t want any time pressure and only want to line up if I have a good chance of dipping under 2hr 30min. It will probably be an autumn marathon in Europe ÔÇô Berlin again or maybe Frankfurt.”


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