Linz leaves last for Paris for Andreas Wojda

From the 800 meters to the marathon, Andreas Vojda has won 49 state championship titles.

The 34-year-old took his 50th place in the 22nd Oberbank Linz Donau Marathon – the Austrian titles will be awarded over the full 42.195 kilometers on Sunday. “It will be a good anniversary,” says the Gerasdorf native, “especially if I can crown it with a good time.”

When it comes to marathons, Wojda is almost a “newbie.” It wasn't until 2022 that he celebrated his debut in the classic long distance in Vienna – and by accident. Vojda, who was really only aiming to set the pace, defied expectations and finished the race in 2:23:21 hours.

Why did he do that? “That wasn't my primary goal, but there were three reasons,” the quick-witted runner told ORF at the time. “First, my clothes were running out. Second, my food was running out. Third, I couldn't stop and finish the subway because I didn't have a (hint; corona) mask with me. .”

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He described the last twelve kilometers he had run alone. Wojta stuck with it. His first state championship title at this distance followed in 2023. He now wants to defend this in Linz. He knows the course in Upper Austria – at least the first half of the 2022 half marathon.

It goes without saying that this start also ended with a state championship title. “I have good memories of it because I ran a good time without much preparation.” You can see from the best times that there are good times all the way through.

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Hard limit

To qualify directly for the Olympic marathon in Paris, Vojta needs to run 2:08:10 hours or better. Unbelievable for the Austrian whose best time from Frankfurt in October 2023 was 2:13:43. Still. “I don't see it as impossible for me in the future, but everything has to fit together.”

In fact, he has a time for Sunday at 2:10. With bonus points for the national title, it would move Vojta up enough in the world rankings that he could qualify via this detour.

To ensure the program was a success, Wojda held a high-altitude training camp in Kenya in preparation for the season and employed two pacemakers in Linz. “From my side, I did my best to make it a new personal best,” says Wojta.

Austria's Julia Mayer has already qualified for the Olympic marathon.

Author of the book

Reinhold Buhringer

Sports teacher

Reinhold Buhringer

Reinhold Buhringer

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