Elite men run along an Austrian street
Credit: Salzburg Marathon

The Salzburg Marathon is ready for its 21st edition on Sunday, May 12th. A new starting area, the historic ‘Mozart City’, Austrian national record holder Peter Herzog, and a truly international field with runners of 85 nationalities will provide all the ingredients for an unforgettable event.

The Salzburg Marathon will be the highlight of a four-day running festival in the city of Mozart. Austrian national record holder Peter Herzog and Kenyan Peter Wahome Murithi are the headliners in the marathon race.

An exciting duel is on the cards. Herzog has a personal best of 2:10:06 from London 2020 and made a return to good shape this spring after a year and a half full of injuries. Murithi even ran 2:09:40 in Graz 2023, a time that has to remain unofficial, as this event was not registered in the World Athletics Global Calendar. Could there be an Austrian winner?

Both athletes bring their personal running experience from the recent Vienna City Marathon three weeks ago to Salzburg. Herzog made a fine comeback in 2:15:29 in Vienna, while Wahome was on course for a sub-2:10 time, but dropped out after 30 km due to health problems. He is now hoping to make the most of his second chance to achieve a good result in this spring marathon.

Local hero Peter Herzog explains: “It was a decision of desire, not necessarily one of logic. I have rediscovered my marathon euphoria and am delighted that I will be able to enjoy this special marathon feeling a second time.”

Herzog will contest his home race with a sensible approach. Even if the race in Vienna was a “submaximal effort”, as his coach puts it, it happened only three weeks ago. Moreover, he has his eyes on the upcoming European Athletics Championships in Rome, where he hopes to compete at the half marathon on June 9th.

The marathon field will be sent off at a new start area on the “Staatsbrücke” bridge with a great view on the historic city centre and UNESCO World Heritage Site of Salzburg.

Race Director Johannes Langer says: “Over the past two decades, we have gradually put Salzburg on the international map of running and anchored it there. Today, we are an international event that attracts participants of 85 different nationalities from all over the world. Our aim is to ensure that they arrive in Salzburg with anticipation and a good feeling and return home with outstanding personal experiences”

Compared to previous years, the start has been brought forward by half an hour. This will give amateur runners in the marathon in particular the opportunity to run in the cooler morning hours for 30 minutes longer and 30 minutes less in the time when the highest temperatures of the day are expected.

Late entry will be possible on Friday and Saturday at the bib number pick-up at the SportMall in the Eisarena Salzburg, provided starting places are still available.

The Marathon, the Salzburger Sparkasse Half Marathon, the 10K Hervis City Run and the POWERADE Relay Marathon with former Austrian marathon record holder Eva Wutti will take place on Sunday, 12 May. All Sunday events finish in front of the “Großes Festspielhaus” (Large Festival Hall) in the city centre with a breath-taking view on Fortress “Hohensalzburg”.

Fans can look forward to a top-class line-up for the 10K Hervis CityRun. The Swedes Sanna Mustonen and Carolina Johnson want to use the AIMS-certified course in Salzburg to improve their ranking position for qualification for the European Athletics Championships half marathon in Rome. Johnson set new personal bests at the 10K and at the half marathon in January 2024. She ran 32:45 minutes in Valencia on January 14th and 1:12:17 hours just a week later in Santa Pola, Spain. She is a former European U20 silver medalist at the steeplechase. Her compatriot Mustonen clocked 33:21 minutes at the 10K in Lille on March 17th, just eight seconds shy of her personal best. In September 2023 she ran 1:12:30 at the Drammen half marathon in Norway, only six seconds above her best. The signs are very good for an exciting race. This race starts on Sunday at 8.15 am.

Over the course of four days, Salzburg offers a wide-ranging running programme. “The Salzburg Marathon aims to be an event with the widest possible range of activities. Without exception, everyone who wants to be active at the Running Festival will find just the right challenge for themselves. We make sure that special impressions lead to great running enjoyment and create intense, unforgettable emotions”, promises Langer.

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