Christa Vahlensieck

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Christa Vahlensieck (née Kofferschläger - 1973) (born 27 May 1949 in Düsseldorf) living in Wuppertal, is a former German long distance runner and pioneer in the marathon for women. During her running career, from 1973-1989, she simultaneously achieved a world record in the 10,000 metres, in the 25k road race and the marathon; she holds 17 German champion titles.[1]

Biography[edit]

On 28 October 1973, Vahlensieck became the first German woman to complete the marathon in under three hours (2:59:26), as a youth in a German Forestrun. She set another German record (2:53:00) at the Boston Marathon on 15 April 1974. Both times were also European bests.

In the same year, she won the Essen Marathon in 2:42:38. The time was not recognized as a world record because the course was 745 m too short.

On 3 May 1975, she succeeded at setting the world record at Dülmen with a time of 2:40:16. In the same year, she was the first German winner at the Schwarzwald Marathon in 2:45:43, a time that still stands as the course record.

On 10 September 1977, her victory at the Berlin Marathon in 2:34:48 gave her another world record.

At the 1983 World Championship in Helsinki she placed 19th (2:40:43).

From 1973 to 1989, she won 21 marathons, among them the 1977 Berlin Marathon, five times at the Košice Peace Marathon (1981, 1984, 1986 - 1988) and the 1989 Vienna Marathon. In 1988 Vahlensieck run in the special event 'Friendship Run Wuppertal-Košice" a course over 1765 km, trespassing the Iron curtain: "an awesome experience", as she remembers.[2]

Other Records[edit]

  • World record in the hour run: 16,872 meters, 24 May 1975 in Bochum
  • World record in the 10000 metres: 34:01.4, 20 August 1975 in Wolfsburg
  • World record in the 20000 metres: 1:10:50.2, 25 October 1975 in Essen
  • Four world records in 25km road race: 1:31:52, 23 March 1975 in Düren; 1:31:01, 13 September 1975 in Rheydt; 2 May 1976 in Ameln; 1:28:33, 22 November 1978 in Griesheim
  • World record in the Marathon: 2:40:15.8, 3 May 1975 in Dülmen; 2:34:47.5 10 September 1977 in Berlin
  • German Record in 100km run: 7:50:37, 4 September 1976 in Unna

She won 11 West German national titles:

  • in Marathon: 1975, 1976, 1977, 1978 and 1980
  • in 25 Kilometer Road race: 1977, 1978, 1979 and 1980
  • in 15-Kilometer Road race: 1988
  • in Cross country 1978

Achievements[edit]

Year Competition Venue Position Event Notes
Representing  West Germany
1977 Berlin Marathon Berlin, West Germany 1st Marathon 2:34:48
1982 Osaka Ladies Marathon Osaka, Japan 3rd Marathon 2:34:42
1983 World Championships Helsinki, Finland 19th Marathon 2:40:43
New York City Marathon New York City, United States 6th Marathon 2:35:59
1986 California International Marathon Sacramento, United States 1st Marathon 2:39:31
New York City Marathon New York City, United States 9th Marathon 2:38:12
1989 Vienna Marathon Vienna, Austria 1st Marathon 2:34:47

References[edit]

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
West Germany Liane Winter
Women's Marathon World Record Holder
May 3, 1975 – October 12, 1975
Succeeded by
United States Jacqueline Hansen
Preceded by
France Chantal Langlacé
Women's Marathon World Record Holder
September 10, 1977 – October 22, 1978
Succeeded by
Norway Grete Waitz