Tens of thousands of runners were active in sports this weekend at the Vienna City Marathon 2022 and the other running events.
For the first time in three years, the Vienna Marathon was held in spring again, after the event had to be cancelled two years ago and was postponed to September last year.
This year's motto: Running for Peace
The Vienna City Marathon was held on April 22, 2022 under the motto "Running for Peace". The running program already included the Vienna 10K and the junior events the day before. On Sunday, the starting gun was fired at 9:00 a.m. for the marathon race, the marathon relay and the half marathon.
Several thousand athletes were registered for the marathon distance this year. Participant interest was even greater for the half marathon and marathon relay.
Focus on course records
Internationally, the focus was on the decision for the marathon victory. For this, the organizers were able to sign up some outstanding runners from Africa in advance, who should run in the area of course records. After all, in the men's race the record of the Ethiopian Getu Feleke with 2:05:41 hours has held for eight years. In the women's race, Nancy Kiprop's (Kenya) time of 2:22:12, set three years ago, was targeted.
Numerous last-minute cancellations
Actually, Leonard Langat from Kenya would have been at the start, who originally only finished second last year with 2:09:25 hours, but benefited from the shoe disqualification of Derara Hurisa. He too wanted to be part of the elite field again in 2022, but had to withdraw his start, just like Langat. Top favorite, however, would have been Ethiopian Mekuant Ayenew, who triumphed at the Seville Marathon two years ago with a time of 2:04:46 and in the past also won the Venice and Beijing marathons. Nine years ago, Ayenew competed in the half marathon distance in Vienna, where he ran the third fastest time behind running legend Haile Gebrselassie and Hosea Kipkemboi. But he also cancelled his start at short notice.
In total, two runners entered with personal best times under 2:06 hours.
Timon Theuer in the fight for the European Championship limit
Austria's hottest iron was Timon Theuer, who was aiming for the limit for the European Championship marathon in Munich. For this he had to run a time of 2:14:30 hours. Former national marathon record holder Lemawork Ketema also made his marathon comeback after the Olympic Games.
Chepkirui wanted to defend title
As in the men's race, last year's winner of the women's race was again at the start of the Vienna Marathon. And the chances of defending the title were good for Vibian Chepkirui. Because the athlete from Kenya ran a personal best of 68:02 minutes over the half marathon distance only two months after the Vienna City Marathon. Accordingly, she stood at the starting line with a lot of self-confidence. And she needed it, because the competition was very strong with four other runners with best times under 2:25 hours.
Up to kilometer 30, the decision in the men's race was more exciting than ever. At that point, the leading group was still 14 strong. Shortly thereafter, however, top favorite Oqbe Kibrom sought the preliminary decision. The runner from Eritrea increased the pace and broke away from the large lead group. His lead grew to up to 20 seconds in the meantime. But Kibrom had shot his powder prematurely. At 37 kilometers, Cosmas Matolo Muteti caught up with Kibrom before the Kenyan was able to break away from the leader one kilometer later. A little later, Leonard Kipkoech Langat, a second runner, also passed Kibrom.
In the final kilometers, Muteti was able to manage his lead with confidence. His winning time of 2:06:53 was the second best performance in the history of the Vienna Marathon. Muteti was able to improve his personal best by almost two minutes at his 9th marathon start. Last year, he managed a time under 2:10 hours for the first time at the Berlin Marathon with 2:08:45 hours.
Fellow countryman Leonard Kipkoech Langat also stayed under 2:07 hours with 2:06:59 hours. Third place was saved by Oqbe Kiprom (2:07:25 hours). In total seven athletes stayed under the top 10.
No happy end for Austrians
For Austria's top stars the marathon did not go according to plan. Timon Theuer crashed after eight kilometers. After that he struggled through the race until he gave up in great pain just 10 kilometers before the finish.
Lemawork Ketema reached the finish line in 13th place and was the best non-African. With 2:15:42 hours, however, he missed the limit for the European Marathon Championships in Munich by a good minute.
Unplanned marathon debut of Andreas Vojta
Middle distance runner Andreas Vojta surprisingly became second best Austrian. Originally he was only a pacemaker for Timon Theuer. But after Theuer had to end the race early, Vojta ran out the last kilometers easily. This was still enough for 19th place among the men after 2:23:21 hours.
Third best Austrian was Christoph Sander, who finished 27th in his marathon debut with 2:30:07 hours.
New course record for the women
In the women's race, last year's winner Vibian Chepkirui was able to meet all expectations. The runner from Kenya, who promptly won at her marathon debut in Vienna in 2021, also triumphed at her second marathon start.
Chepekirui broke away from her first pursuers after less than ten kilometers. But compatriot Ruth Chebitok always kept Chepkirui's gap in sight. Towards the end of the race, Chebitok was even able to close in on Chepkirui. But Chepkirui had the greater reserves.
With 2:20:59 hours it was the first time under 2:22 hours in Vienna and also under 2:21 hours. The runner from Kenya pulverized the only three-year-old course record by 73 seconds. Chebitok followed four seconds behind Chepkirui in second place, with Sheila Jerotich (2:23:01 hours) completing the Kenyan podium. The fastest non-African was Neja Krsinar from Slovenia, who finished 8th with 2:35:30 hours.
The fastest Austrians
The first Austrian to finish was Carona Bendl-Tschiedel after 3:04:27 hours. However, compatriot Anna Holzmann had an even slightly faster "net time" with 3:03:06 hours (20th place).
The half marathon winners
The half marathon was won by Mario Bauernfeind from Vienna with a personal best of 1:05:35 hours ahead of Austria's marathon record holder Peter Herzog (1:05:41 hours). In the women's race, Victoria Kenny of Great Britain triumphed (1:16:16 hours) ahead of Manuela Dungl (1:18:50 hours).
Results Vienna City Marathon 2022 ➤ Women
|10||Marame Chaltu Fikad||02:38:34|
|13||Gonfa Fanose Tesse||02:42:28|
|41||Heen Anja fog||03:17:24|
|50||Fung Pui yan naomi||03:19:27|
Results Vienna City Marathon 2022 ➤ Men
|29||Njeri Simon Kamau||02:32:06|
|45||Bauernfeind Andreas .||02:38:30|