It’s Gebrselassie Versus Kenya In Vienna


Haile Gebrselassie will lace up and try to catch a group of Kenyan marathoners on April 17 at the Vienna City Marathon. Photo:

A special “chase race” has been created in the Austrian captial.

This year’s Vienna City Marathon on April 17 should be really interesting. Marathon world record holder Haile Gebrselassie will be competing in the half marathon and racing against a contingent of Kenyans who are running the marathon.

The Kenyans will be given a head start and it will be Gebrselassie’s goal to catch them in a one-of-a-kind chase race.

Headlining the marathon field is former IAAF World Champion in the half marathon, Paul Kirui, who owns a 2:06 marathon. Kirui’s PR was set in Rotterdam in 2006. However, Kirui has struggled in subsequent years to run faster than 2:08. His most-recent ten fastest marathons have averaged 2:08:53.

Giving Kirui a run for the money will be two-time world cross-country silver medalist Patrick Ivuti. The 32-year-old Kenyan ran his personal best  in his debut at the 2005 Chicago Marathon (2:07:46). Ivuti has broken the hour barrier on four occasions in the half marathon. However, he has struggled with injuries over the past year and so his performance in Vienna remains a question mark.

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