The two time winner of the Logicom Cyprus Marathon (2013 & 2014) and a second-place winner in 2015, Raphael Igrişianu, is ready for a comeback in the 2017 Logicom Cyprus Marathon (5th March, 2017)!
Q: What are some general info about yourself?
A: I was born on 23rd March 1980 in Sibiu, Romania. I have been living in Siegen, Germany since 1990 which means I have a dual citizenship of Romania and Germany.
Q: How did you get involved into running?
A: I have discovered long distance running during my time in the German Army where I have won two 25k marches with a 10kg field kit. By that time I have already been diagnosed with a hernia suspicion (2001) which was a native imperfection and not caused by any kind of serious sport, plus I have a shortened hip since birth which possibly stops me from being a bit faster. I do love running simply because it is my life, it is healthy and because I’m successful, but most importantly it makes me happy and sane.
Q: Do you belong to a running Club or team?
A: I did belong to a track club called LAG Siegen, from 1993-1998, focusing on 100m & the Long Jump, but left because I had no success at all. In 2010 I founded my own running team as a licensed running coach, Don Marathon RUNNING. From 2014-2015 I was a member of the RMA, Romanian Masters Athletics and represented Romania at the World Masters Athletics Championships in Lyon 2015.
Q: Which is the most beautiful spot you have ever run?
A: The most beautiful spots I have ever run were Dubai around the Burj Al Arab, New York on the Manhattan bridge, and Cyprus at Aphrodite’s rock. I have no favorite place they are all beautiful.
Q: What are your best running achievements?
A: My best running achievements are definitely the two Cyprus Marathon titles in 2013 & 2014, especially the first one in a PR of 2:44:46 h and New York Marathon qualification. My win in Wilhelmshaven , Germany in 2013. My 2:41:19 h in Düsseldorf , GER, 2014, PR by now; being the fastest Romanian at the New York Marathon 2010 and 2014 and Romanian M35 Champ 2015 as well as my 10th place at the World Masters Champs in Lyon 2015.
Q: What do you like most for the Logicom Cyprus Marathon and why are you taking part for the 4th time?
A: Many reasons which includes the Cypriot hospitality, the splendid landscape, the beautiful, peaceful isle of Cyprus, the fact that it is a quite small Marathon and still there are people from all over the world. The main reason for competing again is of course the proposal to win the Logicom Cyprus Marathon for the 3rd time but the other reasons is because I think I simply owe it to my Cypriot running friends who have supported me so much and who actually contributed to the fact that I haven’t quit competing in 2015.
Q: What are your running objectives for the next year?
A: Well, a runner’s true objectives should always be kept secret and only shared with a coach, but one thing I can reveal is that I’ll try to win another (my 4th or even more) Marathon, if possible even this year. My other objectives do, of course, depend on my health and on my performance as I will never ever compete in a Marathon if I’m not capable of at least going sub 3 hours. Apart from that, I don’t know when I will stop competing. But I am truly looking forward to it as it is an immense psychological stress going through so many thousands of painful kilometers, intervals, tempo runs, race simulations (over 99 226 km by now) and to have certain goals which cannot always be achieved.
Q: Whom do you consider as a runner symbol/icon?
A: There so many runners who serve me as an example. For example, Stelios Kyriakides is a Marathon runner that I admire because he used his victory in the 1946 Boston Marathon as a call to action to aid his war and famine-ravaged homeland by raising more than 250,000 USD to provide food and shelter to the Greeks, who were experiencing severe poverty issues from the Second World War. I try not to make so many training mistakes myself and let’s not forget that I have only ran my first official Marathon at the age of 30 in spite of having trained real hard for a decade, so my 7 year plateau phase should theoretically be over.
Q: Some running tips for people who have just started running?
A: People who have just started running should focus mainly on making a progress step by step by step and not to look up to any kind of idols or whatever, not even to faster runners. All they have to do is to focus on their own data in training, to analyze it thoroughly and to learn to understand their own body as oneself should learn to know their body better than their coach. During that process you will experience great progress but the most important tip is that all of us do have an amazing potential which we haven’t even dreamt of, so all we have to do is to go out there and work hard and to learn through our own mistakes how to get better. Also, to accept the point when there is no more improvement possible; but even then there will be age graded results and age groups and you can still keep improving until you grow old so there’s no excuse for quitting.
See you in Pafos, 5th March 2017!