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Liliya Shobukhova, a Russian 3000, 5000 metres and marathon runner

Great Russian women - Liliya Shobukhova, two times winner of Chicago Marathon

Shobukhova at the 2011 London Marathon

Liliya Shobukhova is a Russian runner who specializes in the 3000 and 5000 metres, as well as the marathon event. She's made two Olympic 5,000m finals, set an indoor world record for 3,000m and run 14:23 for 5,000m, making her the fourth fastest in history.

Liliya Shobukhova was born on 13 November 1977. She grew up in the town of Beloretsk in the Russian Republic of Bashkortostan. Shobukhova entered the Soviet sports system at age 9. From the classes at local sports school she was identified as a potential talent and enrolled in one of the many state-funded Children's Sports Schools of Olympic Reserve. From then on she lived the life of an athlete training twice a day.

Liliya Shobukhova started her career in middle-distance running in 2001 and reached the final at both the European Indoor Championships and European Athletics Championships in 2002. Two years later, she represented Russia at the 2004 Athens Olympics and reached the 5000 m final. She ran at the 2005 World Championships in Athletics, but her first major successes came the following year when she won silver medals at the 2006 IAAF World Indoor Championships and the 2006 European Athletics Championships.

After 22 years in the sport and her best seemingly behind her, Liliya Shobukhova made an unexpected shift to the marathon and soon became one of the world's best in the event. She began to compete in road races, winning the 2007 Prague Half Marathon, but still reached the 5000 m final at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. After running in the 10,000 metres at the 2009 World Championships, she focused on road races full time. Shobukhova won in 2:25:56 in 2009 and in 2:20:25 in 2010 at the Chicago Marathon setting 2-straingts titles. She was also the 2010 London Marathon champ in 2:22:00 and placed second in London in April 2011 in 2:20:15, a personal best and a Russian national record. Shobukhova also clenched the World Marathon Majors title, with its $500,000 prize.

Shobukova is one of 45,000 runners who are registered to compete in the 34th annual Bank of America Chicago Marathon taking place on 9 October 2011, where she will seek her record-setting third-straight title. Liliya Shobukhova is a candidate for Russian federation Olympic team at London 2012 Olympic Games

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