Nancy Kiprop and Salaheddine Bounasser, the winners of the Vienna City Marathon, received extraordinary congratulations on their victories a day after the IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
They were invited to the Vienna Hofburg by the President of Austria Alexander van der Bellen, a once in a lifetime experience. Kenya’s World record holder Dennis Kimetto and the best Austrian runners were also present during the 30 minute reception.
“The Vienna City Marathon is symbolic for running together and for fair play. I have huge respect for the achievements of the athletes,” said Austria’s President. As Alexander van der Bellen explained, he had never done well in sports when at school. “However there was one event that I was good at. It was long distance running. But at school this meant running just one kilometre!”
Although turning 39 in July Nancy Kiprop has no plans to end her career anytime soon. “The future looks promising,” the Kenyan said two days before winning the Vienna City Marathon with a personal best of 2:24:18 in very warm conditions. After the race she said that she would like to come back to Vienna again next year to go for a hat trick on 7th April, which no woman has ever achieved in the 35 year history of the Vienna City Marathon.
“I have done the training to run 2:22 and break the course record. This was the goal. But once more we were unlucky with the weather. I tried, but it was getting hotter and hotter,” said Nancy Kiprop, who hopes to go again for the 2:23:47 course record next year. In 2017 she won the Vienna City Marathon with 2:24:20 in very windy conditions.
Winning in Vienna for a second times will help Nancy Kiprop further developing a venerable project. “With the money I earned for winning the Vienna City Marathon last year I was able to open a school which is around 20 kilometres from Iten, where I train. It is called the Nancy Kiprop School. I have employed four teachers and we have four classes for ages between four and seven at present. There are 50 children in the school now”, explained Nancy Kiprop, who also supports ten talented children with regard to a future running career.
“After winning the Vienna City Marathon for the second time my plan is to further extend the school. I hope to be able to open more classes and accommodate children up to the age of 15,” said Nancy Kiprop.