Photo credit: Salzburg Marathon / Salzburg Cityguide.

Austrian Mario Bauernfeind in a personal best of 2:22:27 hours and Hungarian Barbara Molnar in 3:02:10 hours are the winners of the 19th Salzburg Marathon.

On a bright summer day with very warm temperatures, Bauernfeind also won the Austrian national championships. In the women‘s category, the overall runner-up Luzia Ludwig took the championship gold medal in her marathon debut in 3:03:10 hours. Austria‘s marathon record holder and pre-race favourite Eva Wutti had to end the race early with stomach problems. Winners of the half marathon event were Austrian mountain running specialist Hans-Peter Innerhofer in a personal best of 1:06:47, and Verena Cerna from Germany in 1:22:23.

After a three-year break, the Salzburg Marathon returned with a fantastic atmosphere and a great response by the public.

Race Director Johannes Langer said, “The spirit of togetherness has been present throughout the event week. So many smiling and happy faces showed that our concept was right and that the broad range of running events have been very well received. Running stands for joy and enthusiasm. We want to get a lot of people moving with it and motivate them to lead a healthy lifestyle.”

Known as a world-wide centre for classic music, the running event is known as the “Running Festival in Mozart’s City”. A diverse and colourful programme with eight different runs and the motivating atmosphere of peaceful togetherness inspired more than 6,000 participants from 60 countries, with more than 1,000 of them registered for the full marathon distance.

Temperatures rose from 18°C at the start to 25°C in the afternoon. The direct sunlight made it all the hotter for the runners. These were no conditions for top times. The performances of the runners are to be rated all the higher. Winner Mario Bauernfeind beat his personal best in a consistent and well-judged race by over seven minutes: “This success means a lot to me. A time of 2:20 was my goal, but it was too hot for that. It‘s wonderful that there is so much enthusiasm for sports and that so many take part, we need that very much after the last few years.”

Second and third place went to Isaac Kosgei, a Kenyan living in Austria for many years, in 2:27:01 and Austrian Georg Schrank in 2:29:11.

Women’s winner Barbara Molnar could not believe at first that she had won the race: “Did I really win? That can‘t be true! I am very happy. I am not satisfied with my time, it was too hot. This is my second time competing in Salzburg. The course is beautiful, I enjoyed it very much,” said the Hungarian.

22-year-old Luzia Ludwig showed her potential at her debut in the full marathon distance. She has only been training specifically in running for a year. Before that she was active in triathlon. After a bike crash in training with a broken jaw, however, she said goodbye to this sport. “I don‘t know exactly what happened today. I held on and was mentally strong, that was decisive. It really makes you want more. It wasn‘t too hot for me. I felt quite good for a long time,” beamed the surprise winner of the national title.

Five-time Austrian national marathon champion Karin Freitag came third overall (second in the championships category) in 3:06:35.

The route was a two-lap course in the city and through the green surroundings of Salzburg. It led through the historic old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for 25 years. It is a flat and AIMS certified course that is officially recognized as a qualification event for international championships. The finish area is located in front of the world-famous Grosses Festspielhaus (Large Festival Hall) with a breathtaking view on Fortress Hohensalzburg.

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