FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Kenyans Henry Sugut and Hellen Kimutai Take Windy Vienna City
Kenyans took both wins in the Vienna City Marathon for the first time in
the history of the event. Henry Sugut was a surprise winner with 2:08:40
while Hellen Kimutai clocked 2:31:08. A strong headwind in parts of the
race had slowed the elite runners considerably. The 27th edition of
Austria's biggest and best quality running event registered a record number
of 32,940 runners from 108 nations.
The men's race had started fast and it looked as if the course record of
2:07:38 could be broken. Temperatures were ideal at the start with 8
degrees Celsius and sunshine. Accordingly the first split times were very
fast. The leading group passed the 5 k point in 14:50 and had reached 10 k
in 30:07. But then unfortunately the wind picked up strongly, pacemakers
tired early and split times slowed. Soon after they passed half way in
64:30 minutes the last pacemaker dropped out. In the windy conditions none
of the eleven runners in the lead at 25 k (1:16:15) increased the pace.
After they had passed 30 k (1:32:19) four runners broke away: Henry Sugut
and his fellow Kenyans Paul Kimugul and Joseph Lomala Kimospo as well as
Ethiopia's Mesfin Ademasu. It was then with around five kilometres to go,
when Henry Sugut surged away from this group. The 24 year-old Kenyan had
only run one marathon before (3rd in Reims with 2:10:45 in 2009) and thus
had not belonged to the big favourites. Clocking 2:08:40 in Vienna on
Sunday he improved his personal best by more than two minutes despite the
wind. Joseph Lomala Kimosop took second place with 2:09:32, also clocking a
personal best. Ethiopia's Mesfin Ademasu was third with 2:09:41. Fourth
placed Henryk Szost (Poland) established a European seaon's best with
2:10:27 while Austria's big hope Günther Weidlinger suffered of a calf
muscle problem and came in 12th with 2:14:05.
Pre-race favourite Felix Limo (Kenya) had to be content with seventh place
in 2:11:34 while his fellow-countryman Luke Kibet, Kenya's World Marathon
Champion from 2007, had dropped out soon after the start with a calf muscle
or Achilles tendon injury.
"I am really happy and very proud to have won this race. Next time I hope
to further improve my personal best," said Henry Sugut. He also explained:
"When the pacemakers dropped out early I did not want to push that early.
Instead I waited until 30 k."
In the women's race a group of four runners reached the half way mark in
1:14:40. Among them were defending champion Andrea Mayr (Austria), the
two-time Vienna winner Luminita Talpos (Romania/2007 and 2008) plus Irene
Mogaka and Hellen Kimutai. The two Kenyans then took the lead before the
25k mark and started opening a substantial gap. It was then Mogaka who took
the lead. She was six seconds ahead with seven kilometres to go. But then
the Kenyan could not keep the pace and Hellen Kimutai overtook her with
five kilometres to go. The 32 year-old Kimutai, who had been second in
Vienna ten years ago, won with 2:31:08, followed by Irene Mogaka (2:31:28)
and Olha Kalenarova-Ochal (Ukraine/2:33:05), who showed a strong finish
coming from well behind. While Luminita Talpos came in fourth with 2:33:37
the defending champion Andrea Mayr (Austria/2:34:09) finished fifth. "I
knew Vienna is a good race, otherwise I would not have come back here,"
said Hellen Kimutai, who has a personal best of 2:25:52. Asked about how
she manages to run at this level for such a long time with four children
(11 and 8 years old plus twins at the age of 6) she replied: "My husband,
who is a farmer and also helps me in training, takes care about the
children. I owe my success to him." Hellen Kimutai will head back to Kenya
with 15,000 Euros to boost the family's bank account. Henry Sugut collected
the same amount for his first place.