FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Inspired by Haile Gebrselassie Paula Radcliffe
Will Run the Half Marathon in Vienna
Preparing for her final chance of winning an Olympic gold medal Great
Britain's Paula Radcliffe will run her main spring road race in Vienna: The
38 year-old world marathon record holder (2:15:25) will compete in the OMV
Half Marathon, which will be staged together with the 29th Vienna City
Marathon on 15th April. While preparing for the London Olympic race on 5th
August Paula Radcliffe has decided not to run another marathon before.
Instead she has now opted for the race in Austria's capital. The event
features an IAAF Gold Label for the first time this year. The organisers of
Austria's biggest and best quality road race expect a total of well over
30,000 runners. Entries for all events are still accepted online at:
A year ago organisers of the Vienna City Marathon had signed Haile
Gebrselassie for the half marathon race, this time it is another alltime
great, Paula Radcliffe. "I am delighted that with the help of our sponsor
OMV we are able to bring Paula to Vienna in the Olympic year. Her
appearance in Vienna will be very special," said Race Director Wolfgang
Konrad. "We knew that expectations were high after Haile Gebrselassie's
star appearance last year. We have accepted the challenge and now can again
present an exceptional world-class athlete to our spectators in Vienna. I
am sure that with her outstanding personality Paula will instantly capture
the hearts of the Austrians."
"In just a few months, Paula Radcliffe will be competing for a medal in the
Olympic marathon, as world record holder and in her own country. We are
therefore especially proud that she will be on the starting line at the OMV
Half Marathon," said Gerhard Roiss, the CEO of the oil and gas company OMV.
He further explained: "There is a long tradition of running at OMV; we want
to get people moving, as is shown by our race sponsorship and also by our
fitness program for our own employees – OMV Run & Fun. For the tenth time,
some 500 OMV staff members will be competing in the Vienna City Marathon.
Austria's largest road race is a perfect fit for us, and I am confident
that the passion Paula Radcliffe has for the sport will inspire even more
OMV Run & Fun participants and runners to join in."
Paula Radcliffe, who had qualified for the Olympic marathon with a 2:23:46
third place in the Berlin Marathon 2011, has never raced in Austria before.
"I am really looking forward to competing in Austria for the first time.
For me this will be an important test. I want to run a fast race and then
build on that performance for the Olympics," said Paula Radcliffe, when
speaking on the phone to the Vienna organisers from her current training
camp in Iten (Kenya).
It was in fact Haile Gebrselassie who had an influence on Paula Radcliffe's
decision to run a half marathon in Vienna. The legendary Ethiopian had won
the race in 2011 with a course record of 60:18 minutes and was overwhelmed
by the support he got from the spectators. Additionally he was invited to a
reception by the President of Austria, Mr Heinz Fischer. "When I spoke to
Haile at the Berlin Marathon he told me about the great atmosphere and the
fast course and said: ,You have to run this race!'," said Paula Radcliffe,
who has won three World Half Marathon titles and has a personal best of
65:40 minutes. This is the fastest time ever, but it could not be ratified
as a world record, because the course in Newcastle is slightly downhill.