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.
- Major international marathon with a top-class field
- Plenty of ancillary races and events, too
- 2022 date: April 24th (other races on the 23rd, too)
- See also: Events in Vienna
The event and its route
(One of the sights on the marathon route)
Vienna occupies a prestigious place in the running world, not least because the city hosted Eliud Kipchoge’s successful attempt to became the first human to break the two hour mark for the marathon distance (at the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in 2019).
As such, the Vienna marathon attracts competitors from all over the world, including top-class athletes with Olympic experience.
The race usually 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 football stadium
- Along the Donaukanal arm of the Danube
- 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 marathon skipped 2020, but the 2021 event saw a world first when the initial men’s winner was disqualified according to the new shoe regulations. Kenya’s Leonard Langat took home the trophy, with fellow-Kenyan Vibian Chepkirui winning the women’s event. The race times suffered a little from the unusual September heat.
Needless to say, the Vienna marathon is not just about a single run. Several ancillary races take place throughout the weekend, for example, as do related events. These typically include:
- The Vienna Sports World expo
- A half marathon and relay marathon
- 10k, charity and kids races
(The absence of a 100m walking event means I am, sadly, unable to participate.)
For full details on competing, routes, locations, etc., see the official website.
The 2022 Vienna marathon is planned for Sunday April 22nd.
The main race, half-marathon and relay marathon commonly take place on that Sunday, beginning at 9am, while the other races tend to take place on the day before (i.e. Saturday). The marathon proper usually “ends” at 3pm, after which the entire course reopens to normal traffic.
Where to see the Vienna marathon
The organisers sometimes 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 out for that at the website. Otherwise, check out the official route for convenient locations.