Briton living and working in the second largest town of Estonia, Tartu, Jonathan Rosenbrier (38) is the winner of the last year’s Victory Day Marathon held in Pärnu county. Jonathan has done almost 20 marathons in his life and has already signed in the Marathon of The Republic of Estonia which will be held on June 22 and is dedicated to the Estonia’s centenary.

Maratoni võitja 2017 Jonathan RosenbrierHereby we are glad to bring to you an interview with Jonathan where he speaks about his previous races, motivation in training and preparations for the Race coming so soon.

„Enjoy the scenery, the deep green forest. You are in Estonia, so it is very easy to do,“says Jonathan.

How and from where did you hear about our race? 

I enjoy competing in 2 or 3 marathons per year, usually one in the spring time, one early summer and finally one in the autumn. I have been living in Estonia (Tartu) for almost five years now and was looking for a local race on the calendar last year. I was already aware of your two bridges 10 km race in September of each year and was happy to see that you had a marathon organised just before the mid summer celebrations.

Why did you decide to come back to Pärnu once again?

My win in last year’s race certainly motivates me to come back and not only try to win again, but also to try to beat the course record once more. Last year the conditions were quite difficult to run alone, a strong headwind in the first part of the course, so we will see what happens this year. Pärnu is a very beautiful Estonian town, especially in the summer time, it is nice to be able to combine running the marathon with a small holiday during Jaanipäev.

It is to be assumed there have been many marathons in your life and so it is for this reason it probably gives you an idea to compare them by their various aspects. What makes Pärnu’s little race different and why should people get idea to visit Parnu?

I think your marathon this year will be my 18th, I’m starting to lose count. My very first one was back in 2010 at the London marathon. Obviously at a big city marathon the atmosphere is very different, lots of crowds and another 40 000 runners. However, that being said, I really enjoy competing at the smaller races also, it is always motivating to be at the front of a race! Pärnu’s marathon has an interesting course, with the forest section at the half way point bringing both a welcome relief to the legs from the pounding off the road and also a little shade if the weather is particularly hot. At home in Tartu I train a lot on the forest tracks, Estonian forests are like nowhere else in the world that I have seen, pure nature and totally calming. Finally once we arrive into Parnu, the course offers a good tour of the town and you can even take a refreshing swim in the sea after the race if you so desire.

If it’s ok for you, please give your top 3 to 5 tips for novice marathon runners whose aim is to race in Pärnu.

Võidupüha maratonFirstly, I was always told that you should consider the half way point of a marathon to be at km 30, the final 12 km’s are a lot harder than the first 30 km’s for sure, so I suppose my first tip would be to be conservative with your effort in the early km’s even if the effort feels too easy.

Secondly, start drinking water or sports drink at the aid stations from the very start, especially for a June marathon when it’s going to be hotter than ideal anyway. Even drinking regularly throughout the race, you are still going to finish dehydrated, so try not to miss the chance to drink. That being said, don’t drink too much all at once, or your stomach may get uncomfortable.

Thirdly, it is nice to have a time goal in mind and a per kilometre time pace to aim for if you are using a GPS watch, but don’t worry too much if you realise that the pace has become unrealistic, finishing a marathon, especially a first one is a big achievement in itself.

Forth, grease your feet before putting your socks on to avoid blisters.

Finally, enjoy the scenery, you’re in Estonia, so easy to do! 🙂

How has your season so far begun in terms of your preparations?

This will be my 9th year competing in marathons and every year so far I have improved my personal best time, which currently stands at 2:36:20. I still have a strong motivation to one day beat 2 hours 30 mins in a marathon and last winter I did very good training in preparation for the Sevilla marathon in February of this year. Unfortunately I picked up an injury in the very last stages of my preparation and had my first DNF in a marathon. Everything was going ok there to beat 2 hrs 30 mins until the 32 km point, when the pain of the injury became too strong to continue. From there, I had to take some time out from running to recover and I suppose my first real test since then has been at the Tartu Maastikumaraton on May 13th in the 23 km distance. Here I managed to finish in 4th place, without any real speed work in my training, so I guess that I am going in the right direction in my preparations for your race!


Marathon The Republic of Estonia 100 is a special event of Pärnu County Victory Day Marathon. Taking place on 22nd of June 2018 it marks country’s birthday in a special sporty way

All participants of the marathon and half-marathon will see a lot of blue-black-white along the track and will get a dignified and thematic medal on the finish line – Monument to the Proclamation of Independence on Pärnu Rüütli Square. In addition  Craft running shirtis a part of the starting package.

14.30 Children’s Race on Pärnu Rüütli Square (registration available from June 1st)  
15.00 Start of Marathon ja memorial flame-lighting in Tori

16.45 Start of half-marathon in Paikuse
See the detailed programme.

Pre-registration on the website is available until June 19th at 23.59.
Click to the start fees and the guide.