Tag Archives: Vienna City Marathon

Vibian Chepkirui: From sleeping on the floor to triumph in Vienna

Kenya’s Vibian Chepkirui won the 38th edition of the Vienna City Marathon which delivered a great comeback for major international city marathon running during the pandemic.

Vibian was the top story of the day written in Austria’s capital as it was her debut marathon which she also in 2:24.29.

The 27 year-old Kenyan was clearly not among the hot favorites when she arrived in Vienna. She had never run a marathon before and in the past twelve months Chepkirui was only able to compete in a single international race due to the corona pandemic. It was a 10,000 m track event in Stockholm, where she finished eighth with a personal best of 31:09.42.

It was a tough time because of Corona. I tried to qualify for the Olympics in Stockholm, but I did not manage. After that I decided to concentrate on a marathon, “said Chepkirui, whose half marathon personal best of 69:09 did not indicate either that something spectacular might be on the cards for her in Vienna.

Vibian had to cope with a major obstacle on her way to Vienna. She was in that group that also included Vienna’s men’s marathon winner Leonard Langat who were flying via Doha from Nairobi and missed their connecting flight. The plane from Kenya had been delayed. They were stuck in Doha and the airline did not care. So they had to sleep on the floor,” explained Chepkirui’s Coach Julien di Maria. “Obviously this is not ideal two days before a marathon.”

Despite all this Chepkirui ran a brilliant marathon debut and dominated a strong field. At 30K mark she was well in the lead and her split time of 1:40.37 pointed towards a 2:21.30 finish, well inside the course record of 2:22:12. “I was surprised to win the race, but I started to believe by the half way mark. Of course this is the biggest win in my career,” Chepkirui said, whose husband Wesley Kangogo was her pacemaker. “The heat was a problem though. In cooler conditions I could have run at least two minutes faster. Additionally I got problems with a calf muscle with around four kilometres to go.”

Chekirui who is under Ikaika Management, trains in Iten and this was her first International race in 2020 where she has a personal in half marathon that she got in Prague.

Nancy Kiprop is the three-time winner of the Vienna City Marathon and she is also the race course record holder of 2:22.12. “I had planned to go after Kiprop’s record but due to the weather patterns I wasn’t able to.”

Vibian Chepkirui is hoping that both of them will be on the start line at the next Vienna City Marathon on 24 April 2022. One thing is sure: They will avoid flying to Vienna via Doha.

Vibian Chepkirui wins the Vienna City Marathon

Kenya’s Vibian Chepkirui was no match at the 38th edition of the Vienna City Marathon that was held on Sunday (12) in Vienna, Austria.

Vibian who was poised for the course record could not maintain the pace as she slowed down at the 40km mark which was slower by a minute to the race course record.

The Kenyan soldiered on despite slowing down to cut the tape in 2:24.29.

Ethiopia’s Meseret Dinke come home in second place in 2:25.31 with race favorite and the fastest athlete on paper, Gelete Burka closing the first three podium finishes in 2:25.38.

Fabienne Schlumpf from Swiss finished in fourth in a time of 2:26.31, just missing her Swiss record by 17 seconds.


Derara Hurisa beats Leonard Langat to lift the Vienna City Marathon title

Ethiopia’s Derara Hurisa stole the show at the 38th edition of the Vienna City Marathon that was held on Sunday (12) in Vienna, Austria.

Hurisa took charge at the 400m to go leaving Leonard Langat with no option as he surged to cut the tape 2:09.22 with Kenyan coming home in second three seconds later.

Ethiopi’s Betesfa Getahun closed the first three podium finishes in 2:09.42



  1. Derara Hurisa       (ETH) 2:09.22
  2. Leonard Langat    (KEN) 2:09.25
  3. Betesfa Getahun  (ETH) 2:09.42

Swiss dreams meet African excellence in Vienna marathon

Fabienne Schlumpf and Tadesse Abraham, the two Swiss record holders, will be running in the same marathon for the first time at the Vienna City Marathon that will be held on Sunday (12) in Vienna, Austria.

“I am hoping for a double triumph for Switzerland,” says Tadesse Abraham. However they will have to overcome African excellence to achieve what would be a very memorable double victory. Ethiopian Gelete Burka head the start lists

“I am happy to be back for the Vienna City Marathon,“ said Tadesse Abraham, who was runner-up here in 2019 when he clocked his second fastest time with 2:07.24. He ran his Swiss record of 2:06:40 in Seoul in 2016. Later that year he finished in a strong seventh position at the Olympics in Rio. Five years on he did not finish in the Olympic marathon in Sapporo, Japan. “Unfortunately it did not work for me at the Olympics this time. But there are always ups and downs in sport,“ said the 39 year-old.

“After Sapporo it was not so difficult to recover physically since I had not finished the race. It was more difficult mentally. But I have a lot of experience which is helpful and it was good to then quickly refocus on the Vienna City Marathon,“ said Tadesse Abraham, who is the second fastest runner on the elite start list of Austria’s major running event.

The two Swiss will have uphill task as they will face Kenya’s trio that include Risper Chebet who carries a personal best of 2:23.45, Rebecca Kangogo of 2:24.25 and Celestine Chepchirchir  of2:24.48 all feature personal bests of sub 2:25.

It will be interesting to see what Fabienne Schlumpf is capable of achieving in such a field and just a very short time after finishing in a strong 12th position at the Olympics. “Sapporo was a dream result for me,“ said Fabienne Schlumpf, who had only run her marathon debut in April in Bern where she clocked her Swiss record time of 2:26.14. As she explained it was planned long-term to do the “Olympic Vienna Double“. “After the race in Sapporo I was very tired. It was not easy to find the right balance between recovery and restarting training. I started with some cycling and swimming. But then I even managed to include some high altitude training in St. Moritz,“ said Fabienne Schlumpf.

“Vienna will be my first city marathon with spectators and I am really looking forward to it and hope that the support of the spectators will push me,“ said the former steeplechaser. “This time I want to run a bit faster right from the start, compared to my other two marathons. It would be great if I could get a PB on Sunday.“ Elite runners with personal bests

Ethiopia’s Betesfa Getahun comes to Vienna with a personal record of 2:05:28. The 22 year-old ran this time in his marathon debut in Amsterdam in 2019 when he finished in fourth place. Kento Kikutani of Japan (PB: 2:07:26) plus Kenyan’s Bethwell Rutto (2:07:41) and Edwin Kosgei (2:07:51) are the other athletes who feature personal bests of sub 2:08 in Vienna. The men’s leading group will probably run a sub 2:06 pace. The course record of Ethiopia’s Getu Feleke, who clocked 2:05:41 here in 2014, might then be targeted.

With a personal record of 2:20:45 Gelete Burka is the fastest woman ever on a start list of the Vienna City Marathon which will see its 38th edition on Sunday. Running her personal best in 2018 in Dubai that performance was the break through for the former World Cross Country and 1,500 m Indoor World Championships gold medal winner. Gelete Burka then took the marathons in Ottawa and Paris in 2018 and 2019 respectively.

Gelete Burka admits that it was a very difficult period for the Ethiopian elite runners because of the corona pandemic. “They continued training, but otherwise they stayed home as there were no races,“ the 35 year-old said. Gelete Burka herself did not run a marathon since placing third in Chicago two years ago with 2:20:55. „Therefore it is difficult to say what will be possible for me on Sunday. But I think I am well prepared and hope for success.“

Source: runnersweb.com

Japanese quartet write history at Vienna City Marathon

Japan’s Kento Kikutani will lead a strong quartet of Japanese at the 38th edition of the Vienna City Marathon that will be held on Sunday (12) in Vienna, Austria.

This is the first time in the history of the Vienna City Marathon that a Japanese male elite team will be on the start line. And partly this development has to do with Eliud Kipchoge. When the Kenyan Olympic Champion broke the two hour barrier in the Austrian capital two years ago the world took notice of a unique running spectacle co-organized by the Vienna City Marathon. Back in Japan Kento Kikutani, Yuta Koyama, Koki Yoshioka and Daji Kawai all watched Kipchoge’s race through Vienna’s Prater Park, which is also part of the marathon course.

“I was watching the live stream. This was a huge effort by Kipchoge. I think that good weather conditions in Vienna had a big influence on the result,“said Kento Kikutani, who has a personal best of 2:07.26 from Lake Biwa this year. He is the fastest of the Japanese quartet and wants to improve his personal best on Sunday: „I will follow to pacers and then I want to go for the win after the 30k point“, said the 27 year-old, who then hold up his watch during the press conference: “At least I already have the same watch Kipchoge used in Vienna!”

Yuta Koyama is the second fastest of the four Japanese carries a personal best of 2:08.46. He is also ready for a fast race and possibly a personal best. „My plan is to go with the leading group,“ said Koyama, who also clocked his PB in Lake Biwa this year. „Vienna is a good opportunity for me to race despite the corona pandemic.”

Koki Yoshioka and Daji Kawai feature personal records of 2:10.13 and 2:10.50 respectively. Both target their personal bests on Sunday. “I really appreciate that I am able to run here during the pandemic. My goal is to go under 2:10,” said Yoshioka while Kawai stated: “Vienna is a traditional race and I am happy to run here. As there are pacers, I think the race will have a good pace. I want to stay calm and will then decide how to react.”

Gelete Burka to battle Risper Chebet at Vienna City Marathon

Former world cross country champion Gelete Burka will battle for honors at the 38th edition of Vienna City Marathon that will be held on 12, September in Vienna, Austria.

The Ethiopian who won the 2006 world cross country title is also credited with the 2015 World 10,000m silver medal.

According to the line-up released, Burka is the fastest on the course, enjoying her personal best of 2:20.45.

With her successful track career, the 35-years-old returned into the scene after four years of sabbatical leave with a bang improving on her time to 2:20.45 at the 2018 Dubai Marathon.

The Vienna City Marathon will now be the first marathon since 2019 and will be up against a strong field of perennial rivals Kenyans led by Risper Chebet who is the second fastest athlete on paper as she holds a personal best of 2:23.45 set during the 2021 Milan marathon.

The Burka and Chebet have been paired to try and lower the race course record of 2:22.12 that was set in 2019 by Nancy Kiprop who is also from Kenya.

 Other Kenyans are Rebecca Kangogo and Celestine Chepchirchir with the former having her best time of 2:24.25 here when she was runner-up in 2017 while Chepchirchir was third in 2018 and the later enjoying a 2:24.48 set at the 2019 Seoul marathon.

The Vienna City Marathon organizers currently have registered a total of around 25,000 athletes. While this includes races at shorter distances there will be 6,000 marathon runners. Some of the events will take place on Saturday. The Vienna City Marathon is a World Athletics Marathon Label Road Race and will be the first major international marathon featuring a strong elite field and a mass race since the start of the Corona pandemic

Philadelphia Champ Mkungo Eyes Madoka Marathon Record

The Philadelphia and Miami half marathon champion Panuel Mkungo will be seeking to equal the record of winning Madoka Half Marathon titles in Ngerenyi, Taita-Taveta County on October 20th.

The coast based athlete will be seeking is seeking to equal the record set by the 2012 World Half Marathon bronze medallist John Mwangangi of winning two races in the high altitude hilly course in Wundanyi.

The event which is organized by Tesia Isanga Organisation (TIO) will fete the winners of the half marathon with Sh500, 000, Sh250,000 for second placed runner as the third placed athlete will bag Sh100, 000.
Speaking at the launch, the race patron and founder Major (Retired) Marsden Madoka, noted that the race has produced world beaters and hinted that plans are under way to put up a high altitude training centre in Taita Taveta.

“This place has similar weather conditions to those in the Rift Valley hence the need to have a training centre in the Coastal region. We have the potential here,” said Madoka, who was accompanied by Athletics Kenya President Jackson Tuwei during the launch.
“Since its inception eleven years ago, this marathon has grown to greater heights attracting many athletes from across the country and the globe. But our main aim is to develop coastal region athletes,” said AK coast branch chairman Dimmy Kisalu.

Isaac Kipkoech and Vienna City Marathon winner Nancy Kiprop won the 12th edition of the Safaricom Madoka Half Marathon.

Kipkoech braved the hot weather at the coastal region to take the honours in the men’s race as Kiprop descended on the hilly course in Wundanyi to stop the timer in 1:14:05 for the women’s title.

The event’s key Sponsors are Safaricom Limited (Sh2 million), Kenya Ports Authority (2m, 250,000), Kenya Commercial Bank (Sh500, 000), Brookside Dairy (Sh350, 000), National Hospital Insurance Fund (Sh100, 000) and Taita Taveta County Government.

Simotwo’s four year Doping Ban Upheld

The doping ban imposed on the 2010 Meeting Grand Prix IAAF de Dakar 3000m champion Suleiman Simotwo of Kenya has been upheld.

The provisional ban that was imposed was on July 14, 2017,  was upheld by  the IAAF Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) after the 38 year old athlete in his defence failed to identify how the Norandosterone entered his system.

Simotwo was busted after an In-Competition urine sample test at the IAAF Vienna city marathon in Austria on April 23, 2017 where he settled for a third place finish.

Analysis of the sample, carried out at the WADA accredited Seibersdorf Laboratory in Austria, established an adverse analytical finding (“AAF”) for Norandrosterone, a metabolite of Nandrolone, which is a prohibited substance under the World AntiDoping Code (“WADC”) and the ADR

Simotwo’s individual results obtained in the Vienna City Marathon on 23 April 2017 have been disqualified with all resulting consequences including the forfeiture of any medals, titles, awards, points and prize and appearance money.

Any results obtained by him in Competitions that have taken place between 23 April 2017 and the date of his Provisional Suspension shall also be disqualified, including the forfeiture of any medals, titles, awards, points and prize and appearance money.

At the Vienna City Marathon Robert Chemosin led a Kenyan sweep of the podium for his first victory in the discipline.

Competing in his third career marathon, Chemosin defied strong head winds in the final kilometers and accelerated from a leading group of five. He finished in a time of 2 hours, 9 minutes and 48 seconds.

Runner-up Charles Cheruiyot came 21 seconds behind to set a personal best of 2:10:09, and Suleiman Simotwo was another six seconds back in third.

Simotwo’s indoor personal best over 1500 m of 3:35.24 minutes, achieved in 2006, was the second best time in the world that season, only behind two times world indoor silver medalist Daniel Kipchirchir Komen.

In accordance with IAAF ADR Article 13 Simotwo may appeal against this decision by lodging a Notice of Appeal according to the applicable time limits.

Famous Viral Video Kenyan Athlete Suspended for Doping

A Kenyan athlete famous because of the video posted, showing his dramatic final kilometers in the Padova Marathon in Italy has been sanctioned for doping.

Eliud Magut who was urged on to finish the 2014 St Anthony’s Marathon in the Italian region of Padua despite collapsing has been banned by the IAAF Athletics Integrity Unit (AIU) for four years after failing dope tests.

Magut with a marathon best of 2:10 and the winner of Cannes Marathon in France in 2012 will serve his ban till July 13th, 2022 which started from April 23, 2017.

Magut was nabbed after in competition tests, in the ‘Vienna City Marathon’, Vienna, Austria and ‘The Harmony Geneva Marathon for UNICEF’, Geneva, Switzerland.

 Magut’s video sparked a storm of discussion and criticism of the race organization and the guy on a bicycle (apparently his agent) whose voice was heard throughout encouraging him to “finish”.

In the video, Magut is seen fighting on for a while, falling to the ground on a few occasions before picking himself up, then using the fence barriers to stagger towards the line.

Ultimately he fails, collapsing for the final time (around 2:52 into the video) before he is carried away on a stretcher, into an ambulance, and off to hospital.

Magut was gunning to finish third behind winner and compatriot Pharis Kimani and the 2007 Pan American Games Marathon champion  Brazilian Franck Caldeira who was second.

Reports from Italy on the video posted on the Internet question why action to aid the clearly suffering Magut was taken too late.

One journalist posted the following on his Facebook wall:

Magut would have died as the medics watched, urging him on like a prize horse! Athletics Kenya really must act on this sort of modern slavery, in my opinion. Absolutely disgusting! The health of the athlete must come first”

Nancy Kiprop, Dennis Kimetto and Bounasser meet Austria President (PHOTOS)

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.

Nancy Kiprop and as well as world record holder Dennis Kimetto together with the President of Austria Alexander Van der Bellen. PHOTO: VCM / Leo Hagen

“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.