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Weidlinger, Mayr Chase Austrian Athletics history At Vienna City Marathon

Live web stream and English information on Sunday on

Günther Weidlinger and Andrea Mayr at the start of the Vienna City Marathon in 2009. Photo Credit: photorun.net/Victah Sailer

Günther Weidlinger and Andrea Mayr are chasing Austrian athletics history in Sunday’s Vienna City Marathon. Both of them are targeting their national records and if they are successful it would be the first time that both marks are broken in one race.

Additionally the Austrian running stars hope to break time barriers and become the first runners of their country to run the marathon inside 2:10 and 2:30.

A record number of around 32,500 runners have entered the 27th edition of the Vienna City Marathon. This figure includes races at shorter distances. Austria’s biggest and best quality running event can be watched live on the internet. The live stream will be available on www.vienna-marathon.com from 8.40 am on Sunday. While the TV coverage shown on the web will be in German there will be a live web report on the same page including information in English.

A year ago Günther Weidlinger had come to Vienna for his much anticipated debut marathon. But a hip muscle problem, which he had developed in the built-up and which had not been diagnosed correctly until some time after the marathon, made it a far from ideal debut for him.

When the problem was finally solved and Günther Weidlinger could resume full training there was not too much time left to prepare for the Frankfurt Marathon. Despite this he smashed the 23 year-old Austrian record with a time of 2:10:47 in Frankfurt. Coming to the Vienna City Marathon in the year of the Europaen Championships Günther Weidlinger looks to be one of the continent’s most promising marathon runners.

And despite a calf muscle problem which had forced him to stop training in March for ten days Günther Weidlinger’s preparations for Vienna have gone very well. After increasing his weekly milage to more than 200 kilometres in some weeks the 32 year-old feels he is in better shape than last year. And he intends to make the spectators happy with a great performance.

“This will be a home game for me. The atmosphere was thrilling last year, which was extremely motivating,” says Günther Weidlinger. “Of course I am nervous – but if I would not be then I would not run a good race.”

In his third marathon the former world-class steeple chaser is ready to take some risk. “My motto for Sunday will be: No risk, no fun! I am planning to run the first half in 64:30 to 64:45 minutes. If it should turn out that this is too fast for me it will get very tough in the final part of the race. But a marathon is not a children’s birthday party! If I don’t try going for 2:09 I will never find out if I am capable to do it. That is why the marathon is special – you can not try that in training before the race.”

While Günther Weidlinger has confirmed that he will run the marathon in the European Championships in Barcelona in summer Andrea Mayr has not yet made up her mind. “I will decide this on Monday,” said the 30 year-old, who has entered the Vienna City Marathon as the defending champion. In her first and only marathon so far Andrea Mayr had clocked 2:30:43, which is the current national record.

Similar to Günther Weidlinger she had carried an injury when running her marathon debut in Vienna in 2009. “This time there is no stress fracture and no torn tendon,” she answered, when asked to compare her situation to last year. “My training leading up to the race was as good as it was a year ago.” But starting without a foot injury this time, the result should be better.

“Of course breaking 2:30 is quite a goal. I have trained for that and calculated my split times accordingly,” said Andrea Mayr, who had major international success as a mountain runner and also is the national steeplechase champion. With the goal of becoming Austria’s first sub 2:30 women marathon runner Andrea Mayr intends to run her own race and fully concentrate on the split times.

“I plan not to care about the other runners until the final part of the race. I know this will not be easy but I hope I can stick to my plan.”

More information about the Vienna City Marathon is available at: www.vienna-marathon.com

For more information please visit: www.vienna-marathon.com or contact Andreas Maier (Press Officer) by phone (+43 650 350 1488) or E-mail: andreas.maier@vienna-marathon.com

Mary Keitany chases world record in BIG 25 Berlin

Mary Keitany Photo credit: Victah Sailer / photorun.net

Mary Keitany, the world’s number one road runner in 2009, will run the BIG 25 Berlin on 9th May. The 28 year-old has entered the 30th edition of Germany’s oldest big city road race with the aim to break the world 25 k record. More than 10,000 entries are expected for the BIG 25 Berlin, which will also feature a 10 k race, a 5×5 k relay and a children’s event.

All events will finish on the blue track inside the famous Berlin Olympic Stadium, which saw the IAAF World Championships last summer. Online entry for the BIG 25 Berlin is still available at: www.berlin-laeuft.de

Mary Keitany took the World Half Marathon title in stunning fashion in October 2009. Clocking 66:36 minutes in Birmingham she had an advantage of more than a minute and just missed the world record by eleven seconds. From the ten best times ever run at the distance Mary Keitany alone holds four, which is a remarkable achievement.

But it was not just the half marathon, where Mary Keitany was number one in the world in 2009. With times of 31:04 and 62:59 minutes she also headed the season’s lists at 10 and 20 k.

For the first time Mary Keitany will run a 25 k race. Although she will enter new territory it is likely that she instantly breaks the official world record listed by the IAAF. This mark from Mizuki Noguchi stands at 1:22:13. The Japanese had clocked this time during the Berlin Marathon 2005.

To prepare thoroughly for the BIG 25 Berlin Mary Keitany had given up her original plan to compete at the Lisabon Half Marathon in March.

The race will be started in front of the Olympic Stadium on 9th May. The course then leads the runners through the city centre of the capital, passing Brandenburg Gate, Unter den Linden, Friedrichstraße, Gendarmenmarkt, Potsdamer Platz, the Memorial Church at Kurfürstendamm and the TV tower near the Olympic Stadium.

More information and online entry is available at: www.berlin-runs.com

Please note:

The title sponsor BIG is a German online national health service company (BIG direkt gesund). More information is available at: www.big-direkt.de

Service by: www.race-news-service.com