Sunday, April 17 to the 23rd will be a very busy stretch in road racing with the Boston, London, Madrid, Hamburg and Vienna City Marathons happening.
For Vienna, the men’s field includes eleven athletes with personal bests of sub 2:10. While Sondre Moen features the fastest personal best with a time of 2.05:48 the Norwegian former European record holder will concentrate on running a solid sub 2:10 race to come back from a less successful period. Therefore Abdi Fufa and Bethwel Yegon, who have both been added to the field in recent days, and Samwel Mailu and Titus Kimutai are more likely regarded as favourites.
Ethiopia’s Fufa has a PB of 2:05:57 from 2021 and knows the Vienna City Marathon well. He placed tenth here a year ago with 2:10:32. Bethwel Yegon is the fastest Kenyan on the start list and is said to be in fine form. He ran 2:06:14 in 2021 when he surprised with a second place in Berlin. Samwel Mailu looks well placed for a personal best. The Kenyan ran 2:07:19 in Frankfurt for the runner-up position last October. It was an unexpected marathon debut by Mailu since he was originally entered as a pacemaker. Fellow Kenyan Titus Kimutai ran his marathon debut last autumn as well. He clocked 2:08:31 and was seventh in Linz, Austria. Germany’s Sebastian Hendel is among those athletes looking to break 2:10 for the first time. Andreas Vojta of Austria might also target such a result.
Kenya’s Charles Ndiema and Ser-Od Bat-Ochir of Mongolia, as well as Ethiopia’s women-only 5k world record holder Senbere Teferi, had to withdraw from the race recently. However, the women’s elite field of the Vienna City Marathon looks strong. Ten athletes have personal bests of sub 2:30 and four of them have already run faster than 2:23:30.
The former Paris and Rotterdam Marathon champion Visiline Jepkesho is the fastest woman in the field with a PB of 2:21:37. It looks likely that a Kenyan woman will win the Vienna City Marathon for a sixth time in a row since the next couple of athletes on the entry list are also from Kenya. Magdalyne Masai (PB: 2:22:16), Rebecca Tanui (2:23:09) and Agnes Keino (2:23:26) should be among the contenders in Vienna. Fellow Kenyan Caroline Jepchirchir hopes to improve her PB of 2:26:11 and could be among the top finishers. Poland’s Angelika Mach and Branna MacDougall of Canada are the fastest non-African runners on the list with PBs of 2:27:48 and 2:28:36 respectively. Julia Mayer of Austria is expected to perform well and might achieve a time of around 2:30:00.