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Corrida de rua 01/04/2024

Vienna City Marathon: a chance to run where Kipchoge made history (1st sub-two-hour)

Por By Andrei Spinassé, Editor at Esportividade

Vienna City Marathon (Leo Hagen/VCM Group)

Some places in the world can be considered “sacred grounds” for road running. The cities of Marathon and Athens, Greece, and Boston, United States, are certainly part of that list. But only a few people know that Vienna, in Austria, is also part of this distinct group. And it is not just about its glorious past. Vienna has hosted running events for the past 200 years, and, in 2019, Kenyan Eliud Kipchoge became the first person ever to run a marathon in under two hours. The Vienna City Marathon will be held on April 21, 2024, and will allow amateur runners to run where this achievement took place. Esportividade will cover the event to tell Brazilians what running the Vienna City Marathon is like.

Brazil was on the verge of gaining its independence from Portugal when, on May 1, 1822, an annual running festival began in the Austrian capital. The world’s leading athletics organization, World Athletics, considers Hauptallee – the Prater park road where these historic events took place (and still do) – “home to runners and running events since 1822”.

Eliud Kipchoge breaking the unofficial record in Vienna (Bob Martin for The INEOS 1:59 Challenge)

On October 12, 2019, on the very same Hauptallee – wide (three lanes) and flat and 4.3 kilometers long –, Kipchoge ran the distance of 42.195 kilometers in 1:59:40:2 and became the first human to break the two-hour barrier for the marathon. Kipchoge achieved the milestone in the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, a circuit in Hauptallee. Considering the event was not a regular race but a challenge in which the Kenyan was the star, an official record could not be set – and that was not the idea.

Vienna City Marathon 2024 course (VCM Group/Disclosure)

At the Vienna City Marathon, amateur runners will run exactly where Kipchoge made history. The event organizers, the VCM Group, intentionally flagged the INEOS 1:59 Challenge circuit on the race course – in orange on the map above.

The Vienna City Marathon with the Ferris wheel in the background (Jenia Symonds/VCM Group)

In addition to highlighting the importance of Kipchoge’s achievement, the Brazilian race’s ambassador, Eric Souza, explains why the Vienna City Marathon is unique: “It is a flat marathon that crosses the main tourist attractions of a beautiful city. Vienna is all about sports and is a green city where people are very active. People line the entire course to support runners. The level of energy is incomparable.”

The last meters of the Vienna City Marathon (Jenia Symonds/VCM Group)

According to Souza, it is not only the Hauptallee that is remarkable. “Crossing the finish line is a unique feeling. In the last 500 meters, we ran across Vienna’s museums and the Austrian Parliament and finished the race in front of the City Hall. Lots of people are there watching, shouting, and cheering. Those last 500 meters… I cannot wait to experience that again,” says the Brazilian, who has already run two half-marathons and a marathon in the Austrian capital.

The last meters of the Vienna City Marathon (Jenia Symonds/VCM Group)

For the 2024 race, the organizers are asking participants to send a photo and a message to be shown to the crowd when they cross the finish line. A soundtrack (as far as possible) will also be customized. In the capital of classical music, all music genres are welcomed.

The Vienna City Marathon is one of Europe’s most traditional marathons (Rene Vidalli/VCM Group)

The 2024 Vienna City Marathon will be more than a 42.195 km race. The events program will begin on Saturday afternoon, April 20, 2024, with the Coca-Cola Inclusion Run, the children’s races, and the adult 5-kilometer race (the latter starting at 06:15 pm). On Sunday (21), the marathon, the half-marathon (Wiener Städtische Half Marathon), and the relay marathon (Powerade Relay Marathon, with the respective distances for each section: 15.5 km, 8.6 km, 6.7 km, and 11.395 km) will start at 9 am. Spots are still available for Saturday’s 5 km race (click here); registration is closed for the other events.

The first in a series

Andrei and Renata, the Esportividade duo, on Paulista Avenue (Esportividade)

The coverage of the Austrian marathon is part of a series of three events that Esportividade will participate in Europe in April and May 2024. The other events will be the Copenhagen Marathon in Denmark on May 5 and the ING Night Marathon in Luxembourg on Saturday, May 11. Editor Andrei Spinassé will run in all three marathons; news reporter Renata Sá will run the 5 km race in Vienna.

In all three marathons, Esportividade will have the support of the organizing companies, VCM Group, Sparta, and Step by Step. The coverage of the Copenhagen Marathon, sponsored by Nike, will also be supported by the Royal Danish Embassy. Andrei and Renata are training for the challenge with ClassPass. The sports guide will also have the support of Opticalia, a Spanish eyewear brand that recently arrived in Brazil and aims to revolutionize the eyewear market.

This season, the sports guide will show how runners from the “four corners of the world” come together in marathons. Regardless of the athlete’s place of origin, running is the element that connects them, and one encourages the other.

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