Benita Johnson to run Vatenfall Berlin Half Marathon April 1 2007

Australia’s marathon record holder Benita Johnson will run the 27th Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON on April 1. The 27-year-old is the first major signing for the biggest German half marathon. More prominent names are expected to be released soon.

Organizers of SCC-RUNNING have registered already more than 10,000 entries for the race. Adding skaters, wheelchair athletes, handbikers and walkers about 20,000 participants are expected to take part in the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON.

"We are happy to have signed Benita Johnson, a true world-class runner, for the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON. We are at present negotiating with managers of other elite runners and hope to be able to present a strong elite field again”, Race Director Mark Milde said.

Johnson had sensationally won the long distance event of the World Cross Country Championships in 2004 in Brussels. A year earlier she had placed third at the World Half Marathon Championships.

Last year Benita Johnson improved the Australian record to 2:22:36 when she finished third at The LaSalle Bank Chicago Marathon. This was as well an area record for Oceania. The mark she broke was that of famous marathon runner Lisa Martin-Ondieki (Australia), who had run 2:23:51 in Osaka back in 1988.

So far Benita Johnson has a half marathon personal best of 1:07:55. A personal best as well as another Australian record could be her goal when running the Vattenfall BERLIN HALF MARATHON. The national record from Kerryn McCann currently is just seven seconds faster than Benita Johnson’s personal best. The race in Berlin on April 1 will be her dress rehearsal for the Flora London Marathon on April 22.