Moldavian Champion, Liviu Croitoru, wins the Logicom Cyprus Marathon – Interview

Liviu Croitoru is the winner of the 19th Logicom Cyprus Marathon which was organised on 5th March 2017 in Paphos. The 29 year old Moldavian finished the Marathon in 2 hours 36 minutes and 18 seconds, just shy of the Course Record which stands at 2:33:03 from 2005.

We discussed with Liviu who is also a running coach and asked him to share with us his experience at the Logicom Cyprus Marathon and about running in general.

Did you enjoy the Logicom Cyprus Marathon?

Yes, I had a lot of pleasure participating in the 19th Logicom Cyprus Marathon. At the end, I’m glad that I came first at the distance of the Marathon and was awarded as a Champion with the gold olive wreath.

How does it feel to win the golden olive wreath, which is dedicated to Stelios Kyriakides who was born in Paphos and won the 50th Boston Marathon (1946)?

I am very proud to be able to have the golden wreath on my head. Knowing the history and how and where this wreath was created, I understood that it was something bigger than just a victory in the Marathon – It was also my own victory over myself.

Related: The Story of Stelios Kyriakides

There was a lot of competition this year for the 1st place at the Marathon. What was your strategy and how did you manage to win?

At the beginning, I wanted to set a new course record for the Logicom Cyprus Marathon. The main contender from England announced that he was ready to run a Marathon in 2 hours and 30 minutes, that’s why I’ve set a goal to keep him close and overtake him. I knew that I was able to run faster than the time that was announced. At the first half of the Marathon I was up to 1 hour and 13 minutes. Richard faced some problems and as a result I appeared far enough from the other competitors. This is why I decided to keep a steady tempo to keep my strength and maintain my lead.

What are some of your best running achievements?

Other than race wins, I am most proud of being the champion of Moldova in running and the winner of stage “Wings For Life World Run” in Georgia where I have ran 56 km.

What are some of your habits before an important race?

I always take with me a meal from home and I have never had a “public” meal before any competition. Usually I have a baked potato with a cheesecake. I have never worn new clothes and footwear and I try not to talk very much and not to go on foot so I can save energy for the race.

When/how did you start running? What kind of weekly training do you do? Do you focus only on running or do you also do other sports?

I have studied in the military college since the age of 16, where we have been running 3-4 kilometres daily. It was very easy for me, that’s why I have decided to run more. I made the jump to a higher level and at the age of 18 I managed to become the national champion of Moldova in Juniors.

Currently, I am training 8-10 times per a week. In the weekends, the trainings are usually in the larger distance, from 20 to 30 kilometre. I combine running with the gym, where I go twice per week.

I am not only engaged in running but I also participate in triathlons and in Half Ironman. I also used to be involved in track and field athletics, biathlon, luge and shooting with rifle.

What would you advice a person who has just started running?

At first, let us not to talk about marathon and half marathon and let’s begin with the 10 kilometres. Does it feel like an unreal or unachievable distance? It is only the fear of the distance that slows you down. “No, I am sure, I won’t be able to do it”, – the most frequent excuse that I have heard. And after some time, those who told me this, have ran the 10 km distance and even reached the Marathon! The important thing is to overtake the first barrier and to come to the first training; then to the second one. After the third one you’ll only be looking forward.

Normally, with some training, the 10 km distance is possible to do it in just a month. That equals to about 10 trainings. And that is if you’ll begin to run from the very beginning – from couch to a 10km! For sure, there are personal factors, but my experience proves that absolutely everyone is able in just one month of regular training to run 10 km. Best of luck for all your running goals!

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