Olympic Stories

Liliya Shobukhova

Liliya Shobukhova

Liliya Bulatovna Shobukhova is a Russian long distance female runner who was born in Russia on 13th November 1977. Her specialities are marathon, 3,000 metre and 5,000 metre races.

Liliya Shobukhova’s career began in middle distance running, when she entered the World Cross Country Championships but only came in 64th. The European Indoor Championships were her next feat in 2002 where she came 5th, as well as the European Athletics Championships the same year coming in at 17th. She also ran in the World Cross Country Championships again, this time in Ireland, coming in at 23rd.

In 2004, she ran in the Olympics held in Athens and represented her country, managing to make it to the 5,000 metre finals.  Unfortunately however she didn’t manage to make the top and came in at 13th, although with her previous placements this was something of an achievement for her. Shobukhova also ran the European Cup that year in Bydgoszcz which was her best place yet finishing in 2nd place over a 5,000 metre run.

A year later we saw Shobukhova run the European Indoor Championships again, and again she finished 5th over the 5,000 metre distance. Next was the World Cross Country Championships in Saint Galmier, France but she came 32nd. Her best achievement of that year was at the European Cup in Florence, Italy. It was another 5,000 metre race and she came 1st – the first time she ever did so. This was a fantastic achievement for her.

The Helsinki World Championships saw her finish in 9th place, then she came 10th in the World Athletics Final in Monte Carlo, Monaco over 3,000 metres. The final race of 2005 was the European Cross Country Championships held in Tilburg, Netherlands where she ran twice. In the team race her team came 1st, but in the senior race she only managed 21st place.

2006 was a slightly better year for her when she came 2nd at the World Indoor Championships held in Moscow, followed by a rather depressing 36th place in the World Cross Country Championships in Fukuoka, Japan. Shobukhova then went on to win 2nd place in the two final races of the year, the first being the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden and the second being the IAAF World Cup in Athens, which was another brilliant feat.

Shobukhova had her first dabble in the marathon world when she had a go at the half marathon in 2007 at the World Road Running Championships in Udine, Italy. She came in at 25th, but seen as she was far more familiar with short running distances this was not much of a surprise nor disappointment. She then returned to do another 5,000 metre race in the Summer Olympics of Beijing in 2008 and came in 6th place.

Her first full marathon was Chicago in 2009 and she shocked many by coming 1st, but she had set a president and was very consistent when she came 1st in the London and Chicago Marathons, both in 2010. She also sprinted away from the field at the 2010 London Marathon to win by 13 seconds, with her final 200m timed at 33 seconds.

Career Highlights

  • 2011 Chicago Marathon – 1st
  • 2006 European Championships – Silver
  • 2006 World Indoor Championships – Silver

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