Dubbo's Raisa Kolesnikova to contest Berlin and Chicago marathons

OFF AND RACING: Raisa Kolesnikova is heading overseas to contest two more iconic marathons. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE
OFF AND RACING: Raisa Kolesnikova is heading overseas to contest two more iconic marathons. Photo: NICK GUTHRIE

Raisa Kolesnikova was recently completing one her many many long-distance runs on the outskirts of Dubbo and there was no other person in sight.

It hit her how different the scene was compared to the ones she'll face in the coming weeks.

Kolesnikova jets off overseas on Wednesday with her eyes firmly on the iconic marathons in Berlin and Chicago.

"I was running on Sunday and there was not one person or car on the peaceful road I was thinking the next week will be a very different story," she said.

"I'll be in a busy Berlin with 50,000 runners and you get anxious and nervous but I'm busting and ready for it.

"I've been training so hard and have run so many PBs. I'm so hungry for another PB now."

Not only does the September 29 marathon in Berlin offer Kolesnikova a chance to run another personal best, it will also take her one step closer to achieving her goal.

The event at Berlin will be the fourth of six iconic marathons the Dubbo fitness fanatic will have run.

The Chicago Marathon in October is up next and she's already registered to compete at London next year.

By finishing that race Kolesnikova will become one of a very select group to collect an Abbott World Marathon Majors medal.

"I want to test myself and challenge myself and do something not everyone can do," she said.

"That makes you feel good and makes you feel special.

"I think I'd be the only one in this regional area to do that. Not just Dubbo."

Kolesnikova has already completed events in Boston, Tokyo, and New York and the 60-year-old is hopeful she can produce her best time so far in Germany.

The last two kilometres, I want to sprint and pass a lot of people.

Raisa Kolesnikova

"I'm very, very excited and I'm well and truly ready. I've run so many PBs. I thought the older I became the slower I'd become but it's so opposite," she said.

As well as a huge amount of training, Kolesnikova also credits her work as an acupuncturist and Chinese herbal medicine practitioner that helps her keep improving.

A personal best was recorded in a half-marathon at the recent Dubbo Stampede while she smashed that new mark earlier in the month at the Sydney Running Festival.

"I beat it by six minutes. I couldn't believe it," she said of the Sydney event.

Those recent results means she heads to Berlin in a positive frame of mind but Kolesnikova has run enough events to know complacency isn't allowed.

One stumble, a cramp, or unexpected fatigue can put an end to any hopes while the finale to any marathon requires an incredible about of determination.

"The last two kilometres, I want to sprint and pass a lot of people. I want to have the energy," she said.

"That last two kilometres is the hardest and longest two kilometres ever."

While the desire to keep improving her times, mind, and body is a major driving force for Kolesnikova the chance to be part of the supportive marathon community is another thing which keeps her going.

"The first one I did was in Boston and I couldn't believe how many people were yelling and screaming," she said.

"I didn't know anyone but because you have your name on your shirt there were people screaming 'Raisa, go!' and you feel everyone knows you.

"All that pushing and encouragement is such a good feeling."

The Berlin Marathon is this coming weekend with the Chicago Marathon on October 13.

This story Raisa's racing to complete her global goal first appeared on Daily Liberal.