© VCM / Leo Hagen

The “Running Festival in Mozart City” attracts more runners than ever before. Kenyan Victor Kipchirchir aims to become the course record holder.

Salzburg Marathon is set for a record-breaking event this weekend. Nearly 8,400 runners from 79 countries get ready to compete in the Austrian city. This marks a new participation record for the “Running Festival in Mozart’s Hometown”. In a varied programme of eight running events the marathon race with 1,000 participants takes centre stage. Top favourite Victor Kipchirchir from Kenya is a late entry to the race and leads the charge to break the course record. The 31-year-old set his personal best of 2:07:39 when winning the Valencia Marathon in 2016, an IAAF Gold Label Race, and also triumphed at marathons in Warszawa and Santiago de Chile. He is the fastest runner that has ever been on the start line in Salzburg. In the half marathon he boasts a world-class personal best of 59:31 minutes back in 2012. It is clearly his target to celebrate his first victory in Austria and to break the Salzburg Marathon course record of 2:14:16, set by Eliud Kiplagat in 2013.

Picturesque marathon course

Runners enjoy the world-famous sights of the Mozart city, that is part of the UNESCO list of World Cultural Heritage sites. The flat and AIMS / IAAF measured course leads through the centre of Salzburg and touches the green surroundings outside of town. Finish area is located in front of the world-famous “Grosses Festspielhaus“ (Large Festival Hall) with a breathtaking view on Fortress “Hohensalzburg“.
Kipchirchir goes for course record

Victor Kipchirchir has everything what it takes to produce a new record performance in Salzburg. An experienced runner with many international races he finished ten marathons and broke 2:10 on four occasions. Besides his fastest time of 2:07:39 in Valencia 2016 he ran 2:08:52 in Seoul 2017, 2:09:13 in Frankfurt 2012 and 2:09:59 in Warszawa 2014. The Kenyan definitely wants to do better than he did at his latest appearence in Austria. Six weeks ago he aimed for a podium place at the Vienna City Marathon and passed halfway in 63:22 as part of the leading group before dropping out after 30 k.

Talented runners want to shine in Salzburg

While no other runner in Salzburg matches the potential of Victor Kipchirchir, there is more talent assembled on the start line. Kenyan Rogers Melly Kipchirchir with a PB of 2:13:38 and Stephen Katam Kipngetich with a PB of 2:14:08 want to improve their times. Rogers Melly came second in both Lodz and Münster marathons in 2016 with a 2:13 clocking. Should Victor Kipchirchir come into trouble, Roger Melly will have the chance for his first international victory. Stephan Katam is the winner of Belgrade marathon 2017 and ran his fastest marathon in Tel Aviv 2016 when finishing in third place. Marathon debutants Anthony Karinga Maina and Philip Kirui add more quali- ty to the elite field. They have proven themselves at half marathons. Maina ran 62:36 in high altitude at Nairobi 2016, Kirui clocked 63:11 in 2017.

The women’s race features Ethiopian Gadise Gudisa Negese as the favourite. At 21 she contests her first marathon race as an important new step in her career. Julia Brugger of Germany is another debutant. She aims for a time of about 2:50.

Half Marathon, 10K and Relay Marathon

Shorter distances at the Salzburg Marathon weekend are expected to bring some sporting highlights as well. Swiss athlete Marco Kern hopes to improve his personal best of 65:57 minutes in the Sparkasse Half Marathon. Newly crowned Austrian national marathon champion Cornelia Moser (PB 2:39:22) is ready for a start at the Hervis-10K Salzburg CityRun. At the Hyundai Relay Marathon teams of four runners share the marathon distance. Peter Herzog, bronze medallist in the Austrian mara- thon team at the European Championships in Berlin 2018, is among the participants and contests the longest leg of 15.2 kilometres.
“Green” marathon event

Salzburg Marathon is certified as an ecologically sustainable event by Austrian control authorities. Runners enjoy high quality organic food made of local products at the marathon village. The use of renewable materials and an integrated programme for the reduction of transports and natural resources is in force. Public transport to and from the race is available free of charge to all participants within the city of Salzburg on their day of running by showing their bib number.