Peninah Arusei And Ana Dulce Felix To Debut In Vienna


Kenya’s Peninah Arusei and Portugal’s Ana Dulce Felix will run their debuts at the Vienna City Marathon on 17th April. While the half marathon featuring Haile Gebrselassie will get a lot more attention than usual the main event will still be the 42.195 k race. The events will be staged parallel on 17th April and organisers expect a total entry of more than 31,000 runners. Online entry for the 28th edition of Austria’s by far biggest road race is still available at:

Two years ago organisers of the Vienna City Marathon had staged a unique debutants only elite race in the Austrian capital. Back then Austria’s Andrea Mayr was the winner of the women’s race. This year Vienna could well see a debutant winning again, though experienced marathon runners will be competing as well. Two women have decided to come to Vienna for their first race at the classic distance: Peninah Arusei (Kenya) and Ana Dulce Felix (Portugal) clearly have the potential for a successful marathon career.

Peninah Arusei has quite some experience regarding distances beyond the half marathon. The 32 year-old very successfully ran the Berlin 25 k race on four occasions. She won Germany’s oldest major city road race three times (2006, 2008 and 2009) and placed second in 2007. When she took the race two years ago she established a fine course record of 1:22:31. While her record was broken a year later Peninah Arusei still is in seventh position on the 25 k world alltime lists. And her 1:22:31 suggests that she should be able to do very well in the marathon.

Additionally Peninah Arusei has a fine record at the half marathon as well. It was only last autumn when she claimed a bronze medal at the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships in Nanning (China). A year earlier she had run a fine personal best of 67:48, when she placed second in Lille. Peninah Arusei also has been very consistent in the half marathon in the past, clocking sub 70 minutes times in each year since 2007. Among the half marathons she won were Berlin (2008), Lisbon (2010) and just recently Paris (2011). On 6th March she had clocked a course record of 68:30 minutes in the French capital, showing that she is ready for the Vienna City Marathon.

Ana Dulce Felix proved that she is in fine form as well for her first full marathon race (she had started in the New York Marathon in November 2010, but gave up early). It was at the Lisbon half marathon last Sunday, where she almost exactly clocked the same half marathon time as Peninah Arusei in Paris. The 28 year-old from Portugal finished second with 68:33 minutes. This is a personal best and on top of that a national record.

In the past couple of years Ana Dulce Felix has shown a number of solid performances on the road and the track as well. Two years ago she placed 13th in the 10,000 m final of the World Championships in Berlin while in September 2010 she was second at the Great North Run – the world’s biggest half marathon in Newcastle. It may well be possible for the two debutants to clock times of around 2:25 in Vienna.

Among their rivals will be three women who have sub 2:29 personal bests so far: Elza Kireyeva (Russia) was third in Dublin in 2010 with 2:28:02, Fate Tola (Ethiopia) took second in Turin 2010 in 2:28:22 and Elisabeth Chemweno (Kenya) was fifth in Hamburg with 2:28:55 in 2006. The Vienna City Marathon could well see its best women’s elite race for many years on 17th April.


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