Organisers were pleased with a new participation record of 8,501 registered runners from 80 countries in eight different races over the weekend, 1,014 of them in the marathon race, 2,537 in the Sparkasse half marathon race. “We experienced a festival of joy today. Salzburg welcomed the runners and the ma- rathon in an extraordinary way. We had hoped for a better result for the winner, but the positive atmosphere and the motivation for everyone involved or watching is the overwhelming message of the marathon event”, says race director Johannes Langer.
Kipchirchir lived up to the expectations and claimed a clear victory at the “Running Festival in Mozart’s Hometown”. Temperatures from 19 to 22°C on a day of full sunshine made it an almost impossible task to achieve top times.
Kipchirchir set the fastest time at the event since 2013 despite missing the course record of 2:14:16 by a considerable margin. “This was a hard race today. It is a great event to run but the temperatures made it really tough. I felt okay and could have run 2:10 here but not in these conditions”, Kipchirchir said.
The 31-year-old, who achieved his personal best of 2:07:39 when winning the Va- lencia Marathon in 2016, was on course for a 2:10 clocking. He passed halfway in 65:42 but faded in the later stages. Marathon debutants Anthony Karinga Maina and Philip Kirui were about two minutes adrift at 21 K and struggled over the second half. Maina finished in 2:22:37, Kirui completed the podium in 2:28:21.
Gadise Gudisa Negese produced a winning performance at her marathon debut. Just like almost every other runner in the field she had to adjust her pace in the second half and finished 2:46:37, following a more promising first half of 77:25 minutes. German Julia Brugger, also a marathon debutant, came second in 2:56:23 ahead of Austrian Irmine Schatz in 3:23:36.
Shorter distances at the Salzburg Marathon weekend attracted many runners and pro- vided some valuable performances. Marco Kern from Switzerland won the Sparkasse Half Marathon in 67:57 minutes. „This is the most beautiful finish line I have ever seen. I gave it all today and it’s simply fantastic to be the winner. The temperatures were not favourable for good times, but that‘s sports.“ Kern led two other runners in- side 70 minutes. Bas Stigter from the Netherlands was timed at 69:40. Austrian Alex Knoblechner set a personal best of 69:49. Italian Edeltraud Thaler won the women’s race in 1:25:41 what is a remarkable time for a 53 year old runner.
Austrians Hans Wieser in 34:08 and national marathon champion Cornelia Stöckl- Moser in 38:11 were the winners of the Hervis 10K CityRun. Marathon specialist Peter Herzog, bronze medallist in the Austrian marathon team at the European Championships in Berlin 2018, ran the opening leg of 15.2 K at the Hyundai Relay Marathon and accompanied the marathon winner Victor Kipchirchir for about five kilometers.
Runners enjoyed the world-famous sights of the Mozart city, that is part of the UN- ESCO 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 Festspiel- haus“ (Large Festival Hall) with a breathtaking view on Fortress “Hohensalzburg“.