Marco Diehl is an ‘aspiring’ marathon runner from Butzbach in Hessen, Germany. He has been running marathons for the last 11 years including the Lanzarote International Marathon in 2011, which he won with a time of 02:37:40. We were lucky enough to catch up with him for an interview.
Why did you choose marathon as your preferred race distance?
I did my first race in 2003 over the distance just to try if I can make it and I immediately liked the distance. As I was never good in short distance running I found my passion in this length. Ultra I find too boring and too much stress on your body.
How old were you when you completed your first marathon and how did you feel when you crossed the finish line?
I was 33 years old, some 11 years ago. I first felt very exhausted, but then realized that I was sub 3 hours which is a really good result for the first marathon without specific training. I was so excited about this that I decided to register for another marathon only 2 weeks later!
What motivates you to carry on during a race when you begin to feel tired?
“Never give-up!” I did 131 Marathon races and never gave up. It is a question of discipline and also cleverness to make sure that you reduce speed a bit at the right moment if you start feeling that you cannot hold the speed. This usually brings you back in a controlled modus where you can finish the race, even if it is painful and I had a number of very painful races in my career.
What has been your favourite marathon to date and why?
There are a number of very nice marathons all very different in character that I like. Sure running through the crowds at a big city marathon can be of great excitement, I personally also like “landscape marathon” very much. I have just finshed the Romantikschlösser Marathon Füssen (#3) which falls into this category. But I am also very excited about the Lanzarote marathon, especially with the new course that brings you along the cost-line in beautiful weather when first snow falls at home.
What has been your biggest success to date?
I became German Champion in the age class M40 (2:28) some 4 years back and became German Champion in the team in the same year, this was surely an absolute highlight. But any of my 31 marathon wins was a great highlight!
What did you like about the Lanzarote International Marathon and would you do it again?
The Lanzarote Marathon is among my favourites and I would definitely have come back in 2013 if I would not have a conflicting personal appointment at that time. It is a very well organized event along a very nice track. It is very good to combine with a couple of days’ vacation to escape the poor German weather at this time of the year. I definitely plan to come back in 2014!
Who inspires you?
I am not inspired by a specific person, but I must admit that I am deeply impressed how the top athletes can run a speed over a marathon distance which I cannot even run for 1km.
What top tip would you give to someone about to compete in their first marathon?
I am the coach of the marathon team of Deutsche Vermögensberatung (DVAG-Marathon Team) and am often confronted with this question. I think it is important to have done a solid training over the month before with some test runs over a shorter distance. This gives the right confidence level to make this challenge. Most important is that the first marathon is somehow enjoyable and not a negative event, therefore I suggest to start this marathon moderately and make sure that you can run the full distance. Good preparation, a certain level of respect and encouragement will make the first marathon a unique experience that you will remember for the rest of your life!
What marathon race that you have not done would you most like do and why?
I have been focusing on German and some European Marathons such as Vienna, Barcelona and Lanzarote. Recently I did run San Francisco, a great experience. As I cannot improve my best time anymore given my age, I would like to enjoy the beautiful landscape of South Arica … I would say the 2 Oceans in Capetown, even if it is a bit longer than a Marathon
Thank you for your time Marco Diehl. We wish you success in our up coming events and look forward to seeing you at the Lanzarote International Marathon in 2014.
Originally posted on Lanzarote International Marathon