Saturday, March 16, 2013

The Vienna City Marathon

Vienna Marathon
Vienna Marathon 2013

My policy when on holiday in a new place is, go with the flow. It is all very well to have a strictly planned itinerary ticking off all the right tourist spots, but nothing can give you a taste of the place and the people like getting involved in a local event. As it happens, the thing that was going on while I was in Vienna is the city marathon.

The marathon was in full swing while I was there, and little did I know that people actually travel from afar in order to take part in it. The annual running event is in fact the country’s largest, and in 2010 had over 33,000 participants from over 108 different countries. This year will be the event’s 30th birthday, as it was first held back in 1984, so it’s bound to be most special!
The event includes a full marathon which covers the full distance of 42.195kms. Running this distance without immense training is difficult for most people, to put it mildly. But thankfully, there is also a half marathon, in addition to a relay event, and even two fun runs of 4.2 km. and 2 km for young people and kids. 

Of course, you need to register for the marathon and can’t simply start running on the track. But watching the runners and cheering, and generally getting steeped in the atmosphere is a lovely way to spend a day, especially if you plan a walking route where you can explore the city at the same time. 

Running the Vienna City Marathon is bound to be an exceptional experience. The city is a unique mix of so much history and character coupled with modernity. Surely, taking part in such an invigorating event in an iconic city like Vienna, and running alongside people from across Austria and the world will be an experience worth having. 

And the marathon itself is much more than a running event, and has a theme around which several different events take place each year. Last year the theme was the 150th birthday of famous art nouveau artist Gustav Klimt. The race this year will be starting on Sunday 14th April 2013 9.00 am.