FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Debutants only in the elite fields: Former Steeplechasers Kosgei and
Weidlinger meet again in Vienna
In an unprecedented move in the history of major international city
marathons the organisers of the Vienna City Marathon have decided to invite
debut runners only to their event. This applies to the men's and women's
elite fields. The Vienna City Marathon will take place on 19th April.
Austria's biggest and most prestigious road race is expected to attract
well over 26,000 runners. Around 7,000 of them will compete in the
marathon. It is still possible to register online for all events at
www.vienna-marathon.com. The Vienna City Marathon is an IAAF Silver Label
"We already had the idea of staging a race with debutants only a year ago.
But then we saved it for this year, because the race on 19th April is much
more suitable. This is because Günther Weidlinger and Andrea Mayr decided
to compete here and run their first marathon, which causes a lot of media
interest in Austria," says Race Director Wolfgang Konrad. The former
world-class steeple chaser further explains: "We wanted the race to be a
different story this time. All the elite runners will start the race with
the same or very similar feelings, with quite some uncertainty – probably
they will have very much the same feelings as thousands of fun runners, who
will run their first marathon on that day as well. I believe that it will
also be very interesting for the spectators to watch such a competition."
But Wolfgang Konrad also stressed that this is a one-time experiment. Next
year the Vienna City Marathon will return to normal procedures. And Günther
Weidlinger has already been signed for 2010 as well.
Austria's steeple chase record holder Günther Weidlinger will meet another
former steeple chaser in Vienna on 19th April: Reuben Kosgei (Kenya), the
Olympic Champion from Sydney 2000. Weidlinger had been running in that
Olympic final as well and with an eighth place achieved his best ever
result at a major global championship then. "It is great to run in a race
with Reuben Kosgei again nine years after Sydney. However the Austrian
record of 2:12:22, which I want to go for, will hardly be a target for him.
But who knows: If he does not get his best day and I feel great I might be
able to challenge him. It is great to be up against an Olympic Champion,"
says Günther Weidlinger.
While Günther Weidlinger will face more tough opposition from Kenya Andrea
Mayr will perhaps have a better chance to reach a podium finish in front of
a home crowd. The 29 year-old has a successful mountain running background.
In 2006 and 2008 she won the World Mountain Running Trophy. One of her
strongest opponents will be Kenya's Esther Muthuku, who has a half marathon
best of 1:12:28.
More information and online entry for the Vienna City Marathon is available