Robert Chemosin won the Vienna City Marathon, clocking a fine 2:09:48 in very windy conditions. After two Ethiopian victories in the past two years this edition was dominated by the Kenyans again.
Charles Cheryuiot (2:10:09), Suleiman Simotwo (2:10:15), Silas Limo (2:10:16) and Raymond Choge (2:11:07) finished in places two to five.
There was however an Ethiopian winner in the women’s race: Shuko Genemo ran 2:24:31, which is the second fastest time in the history of the event. Debutant Ruti Aga of Ethiopia was second in 2:25:27 while Kenya’s Doris Chengeywo followed well behind with 2:31:50.
Exactly 42,511 runners from 126 nations entered the various events of the 33rd Vienna City Marathon, which is Austria’s biggest sporting event and an IAAF Gold Label Road Race.
This is the second highest entry figure in the history of the race and just around 200 runners short of the record. It is the fourth time in a row that the Vienna City Marathon registered more than 40,000 athletes.
Despite the wind blowing off banners on the course before the start of the race the men’s leaders tried their best to stick to the planned pace.
In wind gusts of up to 45 kilometres per hour a group of two pacemakers and seven contenders reached the half way mark in 63:59. While they were still on course for a sub 2:08 finish hopes for a fast time were soon blown away.
A 30k split time of 1:31:35 indicated that the winning time would be more like 2:09 than 2:07 and with continuing winds the pace dropped further.
While highly regarded debutant David Kogei of Kenya, who features a half marathon PB of 59:46 was dropped before the 20k mark and later dropped out with back problems at 30k, the fastest runner in the field lost contact just before the 30k mark.
Levy Matebo Omari (Kenya), who has a PB of 2:05:16 and was hoping for a comeback in Vienna, later dropped out as well.
Six runners were still in contention at the 30k point: Chemosin, Cheruiyot, Simotwo, Limo, Choge and Ethiopia’s Shengo Kebede.
Simotwo, who is a former 1500m runner with a PB of 3:31.67, had already put in two or three surges. And he started another one before 36k.
It looked decisive as he was able to build a lead, but Chemosin and Cheruiyot caught him again. Without Simotwo’s efforts the winning time would probably have been around 2:11 instead of sub 2:10.
But the Kenyan had lost too much energy with his surges and could not respond when Robert Chemosin broke away with three kilometres to go.
“When we were reaching 39k I knew I had to attack. Simotwo tried to get away a couple of times, but I felt strong,” said Robert Chemosin, who has a PB of 2:08:05. “I felt fine, but it was very hard to run against the wind.”
Gritty women’s race
The best result of the day came in the women’s race and it was a surprise that Shuko Genemo was the one who produced it. Right from the start the Ethiopian was running in the leading group, passing 10k in 34:17.
Fellow-Ethiopians Ruti Aga, Guteni Shone and Meseret Kitata as well as Kenya’s Doris Changeywo were also in the group. While Kitata fell behind before 15k it was then Shone who was dropped just before half way (72:10).
The women’s leaders were running a pace that was not far off the 16 year-old course record of 2:23:47. But in the blustery conditions there was no chance to improve this time.
Changeywo, who had entered with a PB of 2:44:26 from her debut race in Singapore, lost contact after 25k and was then a minute behind the leaders at 30k.
Genemo carried on and finally dropped debutant Aga with around five kilometres to go. Celebrating her biggest career win the 20 year-old also achieved a fine personal best.
It was in Hengshui (China) where she had clocked her first sub 2:30 time last year with 2:27:29. This year she already won the Mumbai Marathon in January in 2:27:50.
“It was cold and windy, which made it difficult to run fast. In perfect conditions I could have run 2:22 today,” said Shuko Genemo.
Top Results – Vienna City Marathon 2016
1. Robert Chemosin KEN 2:09:48
2. Charles Cheruiyot KEN 2:10:09
3. Suleiman Simotwo KEN 2:10:15
4. Silas Limo KEN 2:10:16
5. Raymond Choge KEN 2:11:07
6. Weldu Negash ERI 2:13:23
7. Peter Wangari KEN 2:13:48
8. Shengo Kebede ETH 2:13:58
9. Paulo Paula BRA 2:13:58
10. Hermano Ferreira POR 2:15:48
1. Shuko Genemo ETH 2:24:31
2. Ruti Aga ETH 2:25:27
3. Doris Changeywo KEN 2:31:50
4. Meseret Kitata ETH 2:34:19
5. Helaria Johannes NAM 2:35:56
6. Remalda Kergyte LTU 2:36:46
7. Monica Cajamarca ECU 2:37:58
8. Guteni Shone ETH 2:39:50