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Morocco’s Lahoucine Mrikik breaks course record with 2:08:20 while Japan’s Tomo Morimoto takes Vienna with 2:24:33

2006-05-07

Lahoucine Mrikik won the Vienna City Marathon.
© Victah Sailer

Morocco’s Lahoucine Mrikik breaks course record with 2:08:20 while Japan’s Tomo Morimoto takes Vienna with 2:24:33

The 23rd edition of the Vienna City Marathon produced one of the best quality races in its history. While the men’s race saw a course record the women’s race was won by a Japanese runner for the first time in the history of the race. It was Morocco’s Lahoucine Mrikik who surprisingly took the race with a new course record of 2:08:20 hours. Peter Chebet (Kenya) was second with 2:08:56 while Dmytrov Baranovsky (Ukraine) was third in 2:10:56. Meanwhile for Japan another world class marathon runner emerged in Vienna: 22 year-old Tomo Morimoto ran 2:24:33 to win the race in front of fellow Japanese Chieko Yamasaki (2:29:09). Mary Ptikany (Kenya) was third with 2:31:29.  

 
In fine weather conditions 23,961 runners participated in the various events of the Vienna City Marathon. At the start the temperature was 12° Celsius. While there was hardly any wind it was getting warm during parts of the race when the sun came out. This year’s motto of the Vienna City Marathon was: Run Vienna, enjoy Mozart. Classical music was played along the 42.195 k course through the city. Vienna City Marathon has positioned itself among international marathons with this distinctive feature.  

 
In the men’s race the beginning was a fast one. 5 k were run in 15:05 minutes and the 10 k mark was reached in 30:16. But some of the early sped was lost in the middle of the race. Eight runners were in the leading group that passed the half way mark in 64:22 minutes. The course record of Samson Kandie (Kenya), who had run 2:08:35 two years ago, then seemed to slip away when the splits were around 3:05 minutes for several kilometres. 30 k was reached in 1:31:48. It was shortly before that point when the group broke up. Mrikik and Chebet took the lead and at around 38 k the Moroccan increased the pace once more. He clocked 2:55 minutes for the next kilometre and decisively left behind Chebet, whose brother Joseph had won the race three years ago. “I had chosen Vienna because I new that the pace would suit me. It was my aim to run sub 2:10 but I did not expect a 2:08 before. But today everything was perfect: my form and the weather conditions”, the 34 year-old winner said. Lahoucine Mrikik, who partially trained with former London Marathon winner Abdelkader El Mouaziz in Morocco, had entered the race with a personal best of 2:13:31.

 
In the women’s race the 22 year-old winner Tomo Morimoto produced the 12th fastest time of the year with 2:24:33. It was the second fastest time ever run in Vienna behind the 2:23:47 course record of Maura Viceconte (Italy) from 2000. Chieko Yamasaki and Mary Ptikany had passed 10 k together with Morimoto in 34:24 minutes. It was already before the 20 k mark when Tomo Morimoto, who had run her marathon debut this year in Osaka clocking 2:27:46, broke away from the others. “I felt fine and saw the chance of running a very good time”, the winner later explained. Passing half way in 1:12:31 she was already 25 seconds clear of Chieko Yamasaki. “Now it is my aim to qualify for the World Championships in Osaka next year”, Tomo Morimoto said. Fourth placed Susanne Pumper broke the Austrian record with 2:32:21.

 

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