Haile Gebrselassie, one of the greatest distance runners of all time, will return to the Austrian capital on April 14 to compete in the Half-marathon, which will be staged parallel to the Vienna City Marathon – an IAAF Gold Label race.
The 39-year-old Ethiopian has won the race over the past two years and now intends to add a third victory to his collection and possibly attack his own course record (60:18, set in 2011).
“We could not have hoped for a better ambassador for our jubilee race than Haile Gebrselassie,” said race director Wolfgang Konrad. “He loves Vienna’s spectators – and I believe the same applies the other way round. Haile Gebrselassie still is the most thrilling personality in running worldwide. We are very proud that he again chose to run in Vienna.”
Aside from Vienna, there are only a few other road races in the world where Gebrselassie has made three appearances in a row – the Berlin and Dubai marathons and the Great Manchester 10km.
The two-time Olympic 10,000m champion first came to Vienna in 2011, where he established the current course record of 60:18. In last year’s edition he ran a ‘chase race’ against Britain’s World marathon record-holder Paula Radcliffe, who had been given a head-start of several minutes. Since Radcliffe had not been fully fit, she was overtaken by Gebrselassie relatively early with the Ethiopian clocking 60:52.
Other competitors for this year’s race will be announced at a later stage.
Organisers for the IAAF