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Kenyans and Baranovsky chase course record
in Sunday's Vienna City Marathon
Sunday's 23rd edition of the Vienna City Marathon could provide a hot race.
Not too hot in terms of the weather but regarding competition. A chase for
the men's course record appears to be likely when a strong group of Kenyan
runners meet one of Europe's best marathon runners from the Ukraine:
Dimitri Baranovsky. In contrast the women’s race could become a Japanese
affair for the first time in the history of the event. More than 22,000
runners will participate in various races on Sunday, making the Vienna City
Marathon once more the biggest one day sporting event of Austria.
"We are very happy to have more runners than last year. And it would be
great to see a new course record," race director Wolfgang Konrad said.
While last year a course record was out of reach due to very warm weather
conditions in the second part of the race this year the forecasts are again
fine – but less warm with temperatures around 16° Celsius. "My main aim is
to win. I don't think that much about the time," Dimitri Baranovsky said at
today’s press conference. The 26 year-old had won the Fukuoka Marathon last
year by improving his personal best to 2:08:29. With that time he was
Europe’s number three marathon runner in 2005. If Dimitri Baranovsky wants
to win Vienna he will probably have to produce a similar fast performance
as in Japan last year.
"I think we have the potential in this year’s race to break the course
record," elite race coordinator Mark Milde said. He will instruct
pacemakers to pass half way point in 64:15 minutes on Sunday. Two years ago
Samson Kandie (Kenya) had run the present course record of 2:08:35. Besides
Baranovsky three more runners have personal bests that suggest that they
are capable of such a time. Kenya’s Peter Chebet is seen as a pre-race
favourite. And there is a strong family connection to the Vienna City
Marathon. It was his brother Joseph who has won the race three years ago in
2:14:49. "My brother told me to go to Vienna. And I am happy to be here. I
have learnt a lot from him, we train together," Peter Chebet said. Stanley
Leleito (PB: 2:10:17), Elijah Yator (2:12:52) and William Todoo Rotich
(2:14:50) are runners from Kenya who could produce a surprise on Sunday
although their personal bests may not suggest that. Rotich has won the
Rome-Ostia Half Marathon earlier in the year, clocking 60:12 minutes.
"We don’t have as many good marathon runners in Europe as Kenya has but we
can still be successful. Baldini has proved it at the Olympics and Rey won
in Hamburg recently while I took Fukuoka," Dimitri Baranovsky explains. And
in fact the fastest man in the field on Sunday comes from Europe as well:
It is France's Mohammed Ouaadi, who features a personal best of 2:07:55.
Japanese women go for first Vienna victory
In the women’s race Chieko Yamasaki (PB: 2:27:22) and Tomo Morimoto
(2:27:46) go for a first Japanese victory in the history of the Vienna City
Marathon. "My aim is to run a personal best and win the race," Chieko
Yamasaki said. "I have trained well and I also go for a personal best on
Sunday," Tomo Morimoto added. While the course record of Italy's Maura
Viceconte (2:23:47) seems to be out of reach the goal is a time of around
2:27. Besides the two Japanese Tiziana Alagia (Italy/2:27:53) and Mary
Ptikany (Kenya/2:29:45) are in with a chance as well.