FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Gilbert Kirwa and Andrea Mayr win Vienna's debutants' race
Kenya's Gilbert Kirwa and Austria's Andrea Mayr were the winners in the
unique debutants only race at the Vienna City Marathon. 23 year-old Kirwa
took the race with a fine 2:08:21 in warm weather conditions with
temperatures climbing to around 20° Celsius in the sun. Ethiopia's Dereje
Debele Tulu was second in 2:09:08 and Joseph Maregu (Kenya) took third with
2:09:25. With Degefa Abebe Negewo (Ethiopia) running 2:09:52 it was the
first time in the history of the Vienna City Marathon that the first four
runners clocked sub 2:10 times – and this despite the fact that there were
only debutants in the elite fields.
Andrea Mayr wrote Austrian athletics history by becoming only the second
national women's winner of the race and additionally breaking the Austrian
marathon record in her debut race. The 29 year-old clocked 2:30:43 to beat
Ethiopians Derbe-Godana Gebissa (2:31:31) and Hayato-Zeineba Hasso
(2:34:01). Andrea Mayr improved the national record from Eva-Maria Gradwohl
(2:30:51 in 2008) by eight seconds.
Including shorter races 29,054 runners from 100 nations had entered the
26th Vienna City Marathon, which is an IAAF Silver Label Road Race.
"I am very happy with this debut victory and with my time. The spectators
helped me a lot. It was a great race in a great city," said Gilbert Kirwa.
The Kenyan, who is a training partner of world-class marathon runner Jason
Mbote (Kenya/2:07:37), had been in the big leading group right from the
start. They passed the half marathon mark in 64:17 minutes, which was
slightly slower than expected. But the pace was picked up around the 25 k
mark and soon after that more and more runners lost contact to the leaders.
At 30 k (1:30:40) the final two pacemakers dropped out and a duel between
Gilbert Kirwa and Degefa Abebe Negewo developed with Joseph Maregu just a
couple of strides behind. But when Kirwa further increased the pace he
started opening a decisive gap soon after the 36 k point. "After this debut
I hope to run 2:04 one day," said Gilbert Kirwa, who achieved the third
fastest performance ever in the Vienna City Marathon and earned 20.000
Euros for this.
The most prominent debutant in the field had not a good day: The Olympic
Steeple Chase Champion from 2000 in Sydney, Reuben Kosgei (Kenya), dropped
out of the race. Another former steeplechaser, Günther Weidlinger, ran an
encouraging debut in Vienna. But in the end he was unlucky, because he
missed the Austrian record by just 17 seconds. Weidlinger finished ninth
with 2:12:39. "I was well in time for the record for a long time, but the
final two kilometres really killed me. I could not run any more. To finish
ninth is okay for me, but I am disappointed to have missed the record,"
said Günther Weidlinger.
The women's race was surprisingly dominated by Andrea Mayr throughout.
Tiruwork Mekonnen (Ethiopia) had asked for a 2:25 pace, but early in the
race she decided to go for a more careful approach and ran a couple of
metres behind the Austrian. The two time winner of the World Mountain
Running Trophy soon started building a big lead. When Andrea Mayr reached
the half way point in 1:14:47 she was already more than a minute ahead of
the Ethiopian trio with Gebissa, Hasso and Mekonnen. At 30 k the crowd
favourite Mayr had increased her lead to more than 90 seconds. Having
started the race despite a foot injury the Austrian had a difficult section
between 36 and 40 km. "When I looked at my watch with three kilometres to
go I thought I would not be able to break the national record. I felt a bit
sad, but said to myself you are still in the lead and can win the race.
When I checked my watch again at 42 k I saw that I had 50 seconds left – so
I gave everything I had left and said to myself: you have to get the
record," Andrea Mayr said after finishing with 2:30:43. "It was an
unbelievable race for me," she added. Mayr, who became the first Austrian
woman to win the Vienna City Marathon since Carina Lilge-Leutner back in
1987, received the winner's prize money of 15,000 Euros.
1. Gilbert Kirwa KEN 2:08:21
2. Dereje Debele Tulu ETH 2:09:08
3. Joseph Maregu KEN 2:08:25
4. Degefa Abebe Negewo ETH 2:09:52
5. Mohamed El-Hachimi MAR 2:10:24
6. Jafred Chirchir KEN 2:10:42
7. Getu Fekele ETH 2:11:42
8. Pedro Nimo Del-Oro ESP 2:12:10
9. Günther Weidlinger AUT 2:12:39
10. Maswai Kiptanui KEN 2:13:25
1. Andrea Mayr AUT 2:30:43
2. Derbe-Godana Gebissa ETH 2:31:31
3. Hayato-Zeineba Hasso ETH 2:34:01
4. Tiruwork Mekonnen ETH 2:34:07
5. Olga Kalenarova-Ochal UKR 2:35:25
6. Esther Muthuku KEN 2.39:22
More information and online entry for the Vienna City Marathon is available