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Irina Mikitenko

[Photo of Irina Mikitenko]

23 August 1972

2:19:19 (Berlin, 2008)


29Sep13 BMW Berlin Marathon 3rd 2:24:54
24Jan13 Tokyo International Marathon 3rd 2:26:41
05Aug12 Olympic Games Marathon 14th 2:26:44
22Apr12 Virgin London Marathon 7th 2:24:53
25Sep11 BMW Berlin Marathon 2nd 2:22:18
17Apr11 Virgin London Marathon 7th 2:24:22
10Oct10 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 5th 2:26:40
25Apr10 Virgin London Marathon DNF
11Oct09 Bank of America Chicago Marathon 2nd 2:26:31
26Apr09 Flora London Marathon 1st 2:22:11
28Sep08 real,- Berlin Marathon 1st 2:19:19
13Apr08 Flora London Marathon 1st 2:24:14
30Sep07 real,-Berlin Marathon 2nd 2:24:51


Irina Mikitenko made a sparkling marathon debut at Berlin in September 2007. She came in second in 2:24:51, making her the third fastest German woman of all-time behind Uta Pippig and Katrin Dorre.

At the 2008 Flora London Marathon she joined Dörre as the only German champion there. Mikitenko led for much of the race but it was 5:13 for mile 24, the second quickest of the day, which proved to be decisive, going on to victory by 25 seconds in 2:24:14.

An injury forced her out of the Beijing Olympics but she was in top form for the real-, Berlin Marathon. For the first half of the race she trailed several African women, and then Mikitenko came on strong, passing them all as she smashed the German record and sub-veterans (age 35+) world record with a 2:19:19. Only three women have run faster and the time was the seventh best in history.

Returning to London in 2009, Mikitenko successfully defended her title. Running a tactical race, she dropped her last challenger, Mara Yamauchi, with a 5:18 for mile 22, going on to victory by more than a minute. She planned to compete at the Berlin World Championships marathon in her home country, but lack of sufficient training due to the death of her father caused her to withdraw.

Instead she headed to Chicago in October where Liliya Shobukhova, who she beat at London, turned the tables on her and Mikitenko had to settle for second. Short on training and fitness at London in 2010, she could not finish the race.

In 2011 she was seventh in 2:24:22 at London and then second at Berlin in 2:22:18. The 39-year-old became the oldest to break 2:25 for the marathon.

At Berlin in 2013 she added another highlight to her illustrious career with a 2:24:54, the fastest time in history for woman over the age of 40.

Mikitenko has set German national records for 3000 meters and 5000 meters, with lifetime bests of 8:30.39 and 14:42.03. Her 10,000 meters PR is 31:29.55.


She was born Irina Volynskaya in Bakanas, Kazakhstan and represented that nation at the 5000 meters in the 1996 Olympics; in March 1998 she changed her nationality to Germany. Her father Leonid participated in the 1968 Olympic Games and had a best of 13:36 for 5000 meters. She is married to her trainer Alexander Mikitenko and they have a son Alexander and daughter Vanessa.