Kenyans Sugut and Kimutai take windy Vienna City Marathon

Submitted by ATAF Editor on 18 April 2010 - 7:17pm

Kenyans took both wins in the 2010 Vienna City Marathon for the first time in the history of the event. Henry Sugut was a surprise winner with 2:08:40 while Helen Kimutai clocked 2:31:08.

A strong headwind in parts of the race had slowed the elite runners considerably. The 27th edition of Austria's biggest and best quality running event registered a record number of 32,940 runners from 108 nations.

The men's race had started fast and it looked as if the course record of 2:07:38 could be broken. Temperatures were ideal at the start with 8 degrees Celsius and sunshine. 

After they had passed 30 k (1:32:19) four runners broke away: Henry Sugut and his fellow Kenyans Paul Kimugul and Joseph Lomala Kimospo as well as Ethiopia's Mesfin Ademasu. It was then with around five kilometres to go, when Henry Sugut surged away from this group.

The 24 year-old Kenyan had only run one marathon before (3rd in Reims with 2:10:45 in 2009) and thus had not belonged to the big favourites. Clocking 2:08:40 in Vienna on Sunday he improved his personal best by more than two minutes despite the wind.

Joseph Lomala Kimosop took second place with 2:09:32, also clocking a personal best. Ethiopia's Mesfin Ademasu was third with 2:09:41.

Fourth placed Henryk Szost (Poland) established a European seaon's best with 2:10:27 while Austria's big hope Günther Weidlinger suffered of a calf muscle problem and came in 12th with 2:14:05.

Pre-race favourite Felix Limo (Kenya) had to be content with seventh place in 2:11:34 while his fellow-countryman Luke Kibet, Kenya's World Marathon Champion from 2007, had dropped out soon after the start with a calf muscle or Achilles tendon injury.

"I am really happy and very proud to have won this race. Next time I hope to further improve my personal best," said Henry Sugut. He also explained: "When the pacemakers dropped out early I did not want to push that early. Instead I waited until 30 k."

Kimutai on top

In the women's race a group of four runners reached the half way mark in 1:14:40. Among them were defending champion Andrea Mayr (Austria), the two-time Vienna winner Luminita Talpos (Romania/2007 and 2008) plus Irene Mogaka and Helen Kimutai.

The two Kenyans then took the lead before the 25 k mark and started opening a substantial gap. It was then Mogaka who took the lead. She was six seconds ahead with seven kilometres to go. But then the Kenyan could not keep the pace and Helen Kimutai overtook her with five kilometres to go.

The 32 year-old Kimutai, who had been second in Vienna ten years ago, won with 2:31:08, followed by Irene Mogaka (2:31:28) and Olha Kalenarova-Ochal (Ukraine/2:33:05), who showed a strong finish coming from well behind.

While Luminita Talpos came in fourth with 2:33:37 the defending champion Andrea Mayr (Austria/2:34:09) finished fifth.

"I knew Vienna is a good race, otherwise I would not have come back here," said Hellen Kimutai, who has a personal best of 2:25:52.

Asked about how she manages to run at this level for such a long time with four children (11 and 8 years old plus twins at the age of 6) she replied: "My husband, who is a farmer and also helps me in training, takes care about the children. I owe my success to him."

Helen Kimutai will head back to Kenya with 15,000 Euros to boost the family's bank account. Henry Sugut collected the same amount for his first place.

Leading Results VCM 2010 

1. Sugut Henry, KENYA - 2:08:40 
2. Lomala-Kimospo Joseph, KENYA - 2:09:32 
3. Ademasu Mesfin, ETHIOPIA - 2:09:41 
4. Szost Henryk, POLAND - 2:10:27 
5. Draczynski Adam, POLAND - 2:10:49 
6. Kimugul Paul, KENYA - 2:10:56 
7. Limo Felix, KENYA - 2:11:34 
12. Günther Weidlinger, AUSTRIA - 2:14:05 

1. Kimutai Helen, KENYA - 2:31:08 
2. Mogaka Irene-Kemunto, KENYA - 2:31:28 
3. Kelenarova-Ochal Olha, UKRAINE - 2:33:05 
4. Talpos Luminita, ROMANIA - 2:33:37 
5. Mayr Andrea, AUSTRIA - 2:34:09 
6. Tavengwa Sharon, ZIMBABWE - 2:36:22