Each year, thousands of people take part in the various races falling under the umbrella of the Vienna marathon. And those of us with a little less energy get to watch.
- Prestigious international marathon with a top-class field
- Lots of ancillary races and events, too
- Main race is on April 19, 2020
- See also: Events in Vienna
The event and its route
Now in its 37th year, the Vienna marathon attracts runners from all over the world, including top-class athletes with Olympic experience.
The race begins at the United Nations building before crossing over the Danube towards the city centre, where the route takes participants on a tour of some of Vienna’s main historical sights. For example:
- The Prater with the Riesenrad and national stadium
- The Stadtpark and around the Ring boulevard to, for example, the Kunsthistorisches Museum, Naturhistorisches Museum, Hofburg Palace, Rathaus (and finish line), etc.
- Schönbrunn Palace
Think of it as a sightseeing bus tour without the bus.
The 2019 event saw a new Austrian marathon record for men set by Lemawork Ketema, who completed the course in 2 hours, 10 minutes and 44 seconds. Kenya’s Vincent Kipchumba won the race.
Nancy Kiprop set a new women’s record for the course of 2 hours, 22 minutes and 12 seconds.
Needless to say, the Vienna marathon is not just about a single race; there are several ancillary races throughout the weekend and related events. In 2019, for example, there was:
- The Vienna Sports World expo
- The Pasta Party at the Rathaus
- A half marathon, relay marathon, a 10k race, a 4k youth race, a 2k kids race, and charity runs (the 1k Coca-Cola Inclusion Run and the 5k Home Run)
(The absence of a 100 m walking event meant I was, sadly, unable to participate.)
For full details on competing, routes, locations, etc., see the official website.
The marathon race weekend is April 18th and 19th, 2020, with the expo and registration desk open on the 17th and 18th in Vienna’s Marx Halle.
The main race, half-marathon and relay marathon take place on the Sunday, beginning at 9 am. The marathon proper usually “ends” at 3 pm, after which the entire course is reopened to normal traffic.
Where to see the Vienna marathon
The organisers provide a nice little overview of where and when to see the runners, complete with suggestions on how to get to the viewing spots. Look under Race Info / Fans at the website. They also have a map showing entertainment spots along the route.