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Alisa Vainio (FIN)

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  • Alisa Vainio (FIN)

    Perhaps this is one for LopenUupunut to comment on --

    I was perusing 2015 performance lists -- looking deeper than the familiar ones at the top, to see if anything caught my eye in terms of national records, etc. that I otherwise would not have noticed. And I noticed Alisa Vainio ran 2:33:24 to win a small (very small, I think) marathon in Finland. And then I noticed her DOB, which is 16 November 1997, which means she did this at age 17. And then I started looking at her performances this year (and the few that precede it, in 2014 and 2013). She had a pretty good year for a 17yo athlete, including:

    In July at Euro Junior Ch, she earned a bronze medal in the steeple, and then 4th in the 5km the next day. Later, in July-August at her NC, she ran a 16:11.87 PB for 2nd in the 5km on 31 July, and then won the 10k in 32:58.17 on 2 August. Pretty good meet & marks for a jr athlete. She then won the Nordic U20 championship steeple in a PB of 10:02.45. Those are very good marks for a 17yo athlete.

    And then she rounded off her season with an end of summer marathon, in the time mentioned above 2:33:24. Makes me think of Cathy (Schiro) O'Brien, for one.

    Don't know anything else about her than these stats -- looks like most of her competition in 2014 & 2015 was on the track and in XC. No claims that she is going to be a world-beater, and yes I know how things often go for "teen phenoms." Nevertheless, she seems an interesting story.

    Wondering if LopenUupunut or anyone familiar with Finland athletics can provide more on her? Thanks in advance.

  • #2
    Given her range and strength (winning multiple events in a national championship as a young junior athlete and then tacking on the marathon) I wonder if her background has some serious cross country skiing.

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    • #3
      I wonder if she is related to Martti Vainio.
      http://www.sports-reference.com/olym...-vainio-1.html

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      • #4
        No relation to Martti Vainio.

        The 2:33:24 is an unofficial European junior record (official European junior and U23 records are not recognized in the marathon). Unfortunately she's too young to be eligible for this year's Olympic marathon.

        I don't think she has much of a background in XC skiing; however, she does have strong backgrounds in several other winter sports (bandy, ice hockey and speed skating) and could be very good in any of them. She's hugely talented, eager to push herself, and appears very dedicated to sports; but we all know that could backfire yet.

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        • #5
          I don't get this rule, she's old enough to vote, get married, have children, but not old enough to run a marathon at Olympics? Once you're an adult shouldn't it be your decision if you want to run a marathon and not some old geezers, who probably couldn't run a mile to save their lives?

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          • #6
            There is an American who is also affected by this rule, but she's not nearly as good as Alisa Vainio. Alana Hadley ran 2:41+ at age 16 and 2:38+ a year later. But last year, at 18, she DNFed both of the marathons she started, and ran 1:19+ and 1:18+ in the two half-marathons that she ran. Not bad for an 18-year old, but not very encouraging for someone who ran 1:17+ when she was 14.

            She's going to run the marathon Olympic Trials, but I can't imagine that she would have a chance of making the team, even if she could run in the Olympic Games, which she can't because of the age restriction.

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            • #7
              I don't know if age rules vary in Olympic sports but I have a niece who made the 1984 Olympic gymnastic team but was ruled "too young" to compete. (she was either 13 or 14)
              She did compete at 1988 Seoul Olympics where she was the "old lady" of the team.
              She went on to be a many time NCAA champion/All American but by 1992 she was "too old."

              Go figure.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by LopenUupunut View Post
                No relation to Martti Vainio.

                The 2:33:24 is an unofficial European junior record (official European junior and U23 records are not recognized in the marathon). Unfortunately she's too young to be eligible for this year's Olympic marathon.

                I don't think she has much of a background in XC skiing; however, she does have strong backgrounds in several other winter sports (bandy, ice hockey and speed skating) and could be very good in any of them. She's hugely talented, eager to push herself, and appears very dedicated to sports; but we all know that could backfire yet.
                LopenUupunut -- Just getting back to this thread -- thanks for the additional information on Ms. Vainio. I appreciate the contribution from your location. I will wish Ms. Vainio well in her future athletic development. And, thanks to Google, I now know what "bandy" is.

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