By Jörg Wenig with David Monti
(c) 2023 Race Results Weekly, all rights reserved
FRANKFURT (28-Oct) — The German roads are much to marathoner Matea Parlov Kostro’s liking and she is looking forward to competing at Sunday’s Frankfurt Marathon 2023. Within a little more than six months she has celebrated both the biggest success of her career to date and her greatest win within Germany’s borders.
Where to watch the live stream and TV broadcast?
Fans who are unable to attend the event can watch streaming coverage on the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon 2023 on the official event website. Watch Live stream on the Frankfurt Marathon Website if you are located outside of the United States. Viewers in the USA will have to tune in with an active FloTrack subscription to watch the action live. The race will start at 4:55 a.m. ET.
Croatia’s Matea Parlov Kostro Looking Forward to Sunday’s Mainova Frankfurt Marathon
In August 2022 she won the marathon silver medal at the European Athletics Championships in Münich, which turned her at a stroke into a Croatian sports star.
Hers was the first medal won by a Croatian woman in a running event in almost a century of those championships. Then in May this year she enjoyed her biggest victory so far.
The athlete from Zagreb won the Hannover Marathon, breaking both the course record and her personal best with 2:25:45. This performance placed the 31-year-old firmly among the very best of the European marathon running elite.
Now she will run Sunday’s Mainova Frankfurt Marathon another stepping stone on her journey to the Paris 2024 Olympics.
“I decided to run the Mainova Frankfurt Marathon because it’s a fast race with a high-quality field,” Parlov Kostro said. “I always feel good when I run in Germany, that was another factor in Frankfurt’s favor.
“Another reason was that I am so looking forward to the spectacular run to the finish line in the Festhalle (the race has a unique indoor finish). My form is better than ever, the performances in training are better than before the European Championships. I have had a slight cold but feel good now.”
The Hoka-sponsored athlete continued: “I’m happy that I no longer have to worry about making the Olympic qualifying time; I’ve made sure of my ticket to Paris. But I want to run a personal best so, of course, there’s always some form of pressure to perform.”
What was Parlov Kostro’s first sport before running?
Her first sport wasn’t running but handball. “Then one day a sports teacher asked if I wanted to run a 600m race on the track for the school,” she recounted. “It meant I didn’t have to go to school that day, so I did it, not that I was bad at my studies, on the contrary.”
She finished third off no specific training and her talent was immediately evident. The Croatian’s career was off and running.
At first she ran middle distance but did not have enough speed over 800 and 1500m to make an impression internationally. Her performances over the longer distances were better, however. She ran 9:08.49 for a Croatian record over 3,00m.
Road racing offered still more potential and she has concentrated on this more since 2018, making her marathon debut in Berlin in that year with 2:38:05.
She has made great strides since then, literally. At the Valencia Marathon in 2020 she emerged from the pandemic lockdown to break 2:30 for the first time, running 2:28:52. Competing in the 2021 Olympic Marathon in Sapporo, she achieved a highly credible 21st place in extreme heat.
She made big improvements on her shorter distance speed as well in 2022, running a personal best for 10 km of 31:54 in Berlin, which stood her in good stead for her eventual silver medal in the marathon at the European Championships later that year.
That race transformed her life. “Without a medal, you’re a nobody in Croatia,” she lamented. “But when you win one, you’re a star overnight.
“I don’t earn much more money but am regularly invited to appear on TV programs and people speak to me on the street and want to take a photo of me, especially after a training run when they’ve seen me.”
What does she think of the stupendous women’s world record by the Ethiopian Tigst Assefa, running 2:11:53 in Berlin?
“When I saw the time, I was shocked. I wouldn’t have thought it possible that a woman could run so fast. And she didn’t show any weakness during the race after 30 kilometers, it was astonishing.”
The best Europeans have in the past consistently achieved high finishing places and even won medals at the Olympic Games.
Asked if she dreamed of winning an Olympic medal in Paris, Matea Parlov Kostro replied: “Of course, an Olympic medal is the dream. But that’s not realistic. The African women are simply too strong.”
PHOTO: Matea Parlov Kostro shows off her Mainova Frankfurt Marathon bib earlier this week (photo by Photorun.net; used with permission)