24 April 2017, 10am
Vienna City Marathon
Sun 23 April 2017
Despite the unfavourable weather conditions with strong winds Nancy Kiprop clocked the second fastest time ever in the history of the Vienna City Marathon. She won with 2:24:20 after battling with fellow-Kenyan Rebecca Chesir. With around 400 metres to go Kiprop moved ahead. Chesir was second in 2:24:25 and Ethiopia’s Roza Dereje took third with 2:25:17. Defending champion Shuko Genemo of Ethiopia finished fourth in 2:26:06.
A record number of 42,766 runners from 125 nations entered the various events of the 34th Vienna City Marathon, which is Austria’s biggest sporting event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race. It is the fifth time in a row that the events of the Vienna City Marathon registered more than 40,000 athletes. Almost 9,000 athletes entered the marathon race.
With high winds it soon became obvious that this would not be the day for record attempts. But instead two very competitive races developed. In fact never before has the Vienna City Marathon seen two such thrilling finishes in one race.
A group of 15 runners passed the half way mark in 64:13 minutes. There were still three pacemakers in front of the group, trying to protect the other athletes from the wind. With winds projected to reach up to 60 kilometres per hour any result below 2:10 should have been regarded as an extraordinary achievement.
But somehow the wind calmed down when the men ran the last 12 k. While there was still a group of twelve runners plus one pacemaker at 30 k (1:31:38) the picture changed rapidly very soon after passing that point. Suddenly only seven runners were left in the first group, then three broke away around the 35 k mark: Ishmael Bushendich, Albert Korir and Suleiman Simotwo made the race for victory an all-Kenyan affair. Deribe Robi of Ethiopia, one of the pre-race favourites, had lost contact while Kenya’s Eliud Kiptanui, who was the fastest on the start list with 2:05:21, dropped out at this late stage of the race.
At 36 k Simotwo could not hold on. He dropped back, later finishing fifth with 2:10:36. Bushendich and Korir ran shoulder to shoulder until they could see the finish line. In a thrilling sprint finish Korir was ahead, improving his personal best from 2:10:08 to 2:08:40. „It was cold and windy, but it was a great day for me,“ said 23 year-old Korir, who celebrated his biggest career win in Vienna.
The women’s leading group contained six runners when they reached half way in 1:12:36. Ethiopians Shuko Genemo, Meseret Mengistu and Roza Dereje faced three Kenyans: Debutant Angela Tanui, Nancy Kiprop and Rebecca Chesir. It was then Mengistu, who was the fastest runner on the start list with 2:23:26, who fell off the pace. Having suffered of a foot problem during her training for Vienna she later dropped out. Genemo and Tanui also struggled. At 30 k (1:42:23) Dereje, Chesir and Kiprop were left in the lead. But it was not an Ethiopian day for the women in Vienna as well. Dereje hold on until 39 k, but then had to settle for third. Kiprop and Chesir produced a great fight for victory. 37 year-old Kiprop secured her biggest career win. „It was very windy and it was getting really close at the end. This was my greatest victory,“ said Nancy Kiprop.
A new 10 k event on the eve of the Vienna City Marathon saw Austrian champions crowned at this distance: Andreas Vojta and Andrea Mayr took the honours on the city centre course with times of 29:54 and 34:57 respectively. Estonia’s triplets Lily, Leila and Liina Luik participated in the race as the only invited international runners.