May 20, 2024

Bethwell Yegon eyeing Vienna course record

Bethwell Yegon eyeing Vienna course record
File photo

While the top runners will be chasing the title, a section of the elite list will hope to go under the Olympic qualifying time of 2:

Last year’s runner-up Bethwell Yegon, fellow Kenyan Felix Kibitok, and Ethiopia’s Chala Regasa headline this year’s Vienna Marathon set for Sunday 21 April.

Yegon, who finished behind compatriot Samwel Mailu last year, is looking to lower the latter’s course record of 2:05:08 and go one better to lift the title.

Last year, Mailu smashed a nine-year-old course record going 33 seconds quicker than the former course record-holder Getu Feleke of Ethiopia, who clocked 2:05:41 in 2014.

While the top runners will be chasing the title, a section of the elite list will hope to go under the Olympic qualifying time of 2:08:10.

Belgium’s Lahsene Bouchikhi, who has a personal best of 2:08:36, Daniel Paulus of Namibia (2:08:40) and Mexico’s Juan Pacheco (2:09:45) will likely be among those joining this group.

It will be a similar scenario in the women’s race. Eritrean national record holder Nazret Weldu has a PB of 2:20:29 and is one of the hot favourites in Vienna. In contrast to fellow Eritrean Dolshi Tesfu, she still needs to run the Olympic qualifying time.

Tesfu has a PB of 2:20:40 which she ran inside the Olympic qualifying period, thus making sure she will be on the start line in Paris in August. There could well be an Eritrean battle for victory and the winner could then bag the course record and maybe even the national record as well.


Five women are on the start list with personal bests of 2:24:00 while another five have run between 2:25 and 2:30. A couple of athletes hope to still qualify for the Olympic Games. A time of 2:26:00 will likely be necessary to secure a place in the Paris field limited to 80 runners.

Helalia Johannes is the fastest on the start list with a PB of 2:19:52. At the age of 43 the runner from Namibia is not expected to be in contention for victory, but an Olympic qualifier could be well within reach for her.

Elite runners with personal bests


Chala Regasa ETH 2:06:11

Bethwell Yegon KEN 2:06:14

Felix Kibitok KEN 2:06:28

Albert Kangogo KEN 2:07:48

Lahsene Bouchikhi BEL 2:08:36

Daniel Paulus NAM 2:08:40

Leonard Barsoton KEN 2:09:06

Bernard Muia KEN 2:09:17

Mica Cheserek KEN 2:09:26

Juan Pacheco MEX 2:09:45

Tiidrek Nurme EST 2:10:02

Peter Herzog AUT 2:10:06

Ivan Gonzalez COL 2:11:07

Daviti Kharazishvili GEO 2:11:46

Ngonidzashe Ncube ZIM 2:11:46

Omar Hassan Omar DEN 2:12:19

Cameron Avery NZL 2:12:30

Mario Bauernfeind AUT 2:12:49


Helalia Johannes NAM 2:19:52

Nazret Weldu ERI 2:20:29

Dolshi Tesfu ERI 2:20:40

Shyline Torotich KEN 2:22:45

Rebecca Tanui KEN 2:23:09

Hanne Verbruggen BEL 2:26:32

Julia Mayer AUT 2:26:43

Jovana de la Cruz Capani PER 2:26:49

Lilia Fisikovici MLD 2:27:26

Zaida Ramos PER 2:29:49

Diana Bogantes Gonzalez CRI 2:32:09

Alina Armas NAM 2:33:09