Former Kenyan winners Gilbert Kirwa (2009/PB: 2:06:14), John Kiprotich (2011/2:07:08), Henry Sugut (2010/2:08:22) and Luke Kibet (2007/2:08:52), whose starts had been announced earlier, hope to become Vienna’s first double winner since Karel David (Czech Republic/1991 and ’92), but Gilbert Yegon is one of those who could spoil the party. The 23 year-old won the Amsterdam Marathon 2009 with his personal best. It had been his marathon debut and Gilbert Yegon broke Haile Gebrselassie’s course record by two seconds. After suffering of a cramp in the final stages he said that without the problem he would have run a sub 2:06 time.
While Gilbert Yegon is the second fastest in the elite field of the Vienna City Marathon John Komen takes fourth spot on this list. The 34 year-old Kenyan has put together a series of fine marathon results in France. Last year he took the marathon in La Rochelle with a personal best of 2:07:13. Before he competed in Paris (2:08:12 in 2009) and Reims (2:08:06 in 2008).
Having missed a Vienna City Marathon victory by only twelve seconds last year, Patrick Ivuti wants to go one better now. The Kenyan, who had won the Chicago Marathon in very warm weather conditions in 2007, had placed second with 2:08:41 in 2011. Taking the Prague Marathon in 2009 with 2:07:48 Patrick Ivuti had missed his personal best by just two seconds in this race. The 33 year-old again placed second last year, when he ran the Honolulu Marathon.
Three more Kenyans will also be in with a chance of taking the 29th edition of the Vienna City Marathon: Wilson Kigen has a personal best of 2:08:16 from Frankfurt in 2008 while Geoffrey Ndungu and Lusapho April had more recent success in 2001: Ndungu won the Dublin Marathon with 2:08:35 and April took the Hannover race in 2:09:25.
Two of the fastest European runners of recent years will hope to achieve good placings on 15th April. Iaroslav Musinschi (Moldova) had shown a great performance in Düsseldorf two years ago. Running alone for long parts of the race he won with a course record of 2:08:32. Russia’s Dmitriy Safronov is the bronze medallist from the European Championships in Barcelona 2010. He then improved to 2:09:35 in London a year ago.
A Russian could also play a role in the women’s race, for which defending champion Fate Tola (Ethiopia/2:26:21) and two time winner Luminita Talpos (Romania/2:26:43) had already been announced. Olga Glok won the Prague Marathon in 2009 with a personal best of 2:28:27. The Russian then took second in the Athens Marathon 2010, when the unique 2,500 year jubilee of the marathon was celebrated.
Aberesh Bedasa (Ethiopia/2:29:47) and the Dublin Marathon winner from last year, Helaria Johannes (Namibia/2:30:37), have been added to the field as well. But the favourites in the women’s race will have to keep an eye on a debutant: Pauline Kahenya Njeri (Kenya) has shown very promising form a few weeks ago. The 26 year-old won the Paris Half Marathon with a personal record of 67:55 minutes, which was a course record as well.
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