Boonstra aims for Eindhoven win to raise the European marathon morale | 09.10.2012
|Dutch marathon runner Miranda Boonstra (centre).
The Dutch 3000m steeplechase record holder moved up to the marathon three years ago and ran a personal best of 2:27:32 at the Rotterdam Marathon in April this year.
"I've never won a marathon so I want to win this marathon. I'm also looking to drop my time," said the seemingly ageless 40-year-old Nijmegen-based athlete ahead of the 29th edition of the event.
The last European, and also Dutch, runner to win in Eindhoven was Agnes Hijman in 2006.
However, Boonstra is confident that she can bring an end to that barren streak after five successive wins by African women in the Dutch city.
Last year's winner, Kenya's Georgina Rono, set the current course record over the fast two-lap circuit with a time of 2:24:33.
"I've trained harder for this marathon but I've also been more relaxed. I didn't go to altitude but trained in the Netherlands, so I'll have to see how it works out," added Boonstra, who believes that Rono's course record is not out of reach.
Boonstra has the additional motivation of proving a point after missing out on selection for the London 2012 Olympic Games by a mere eight seconds.
"After missing out on the Olympics in London this summer, this is the start of my road to Rio in four years' time."
Her preparations for this year's Marathon Eindhoven couldn't have been better. She had two good outings over 10km on home soil in September, clocking 33:40 in Tilburg on September 2 and then taking the Dutch title over the distance when she won the Singelloop race in Utrecht in 34:05 on September 30.
The 2012 De Lage Landen Marathon Eindhoven also incorporates this year's Dutch Championships for the classic distance.
Boonstra's main rivals for her second national title in two weeks include the well-known local runners Merel de Knegt, Andrea Deelstra, Lindsay Marrewijk, Inge de Jong and Miriam van Reijen.
The leading Dutch name in the men's race is Koen Raymaekers, who ran a personal best of 2:10:35 in Rotterdam this year and who currently lies seventh on the 2012 European rankings.
For more information about the Marathon Eindhoven (in Dutch and English) the website of the event is: http://www.marathoneindhoven.nl/