Schlag auf Schlag ging es an diesem Wochenende. Schon Donnerstagabend gaben sich unsere Athleten ein 10 Km Stelldichein in der Toskana (Italien), gefolgt von kupierten 15 Km in brütender Hitze in der Schweiz am Samstag, um letztlich mit einem knackigen Berglauf und einem hochkarätigen Halbmarathon in Österreich das Wochenende zu beschließen. Gekrönt wurden die Bemühungen unserer Läufer mit einer neuen Bestleistung, mit fantastischen Erfolgen und jeder Menge toller Podestplätze. Aber nun mal der Reihe nach:

The weekend went on in rapid succession. Already on Thursday evening, our athletes had a 10 km rendezvous in Tuscany (Italy), followed by a challenging 15 km in sweltering heat in Switzerland on Saturday, to finally end the weekend with a tough mountain run and a top-class half marathon in Austria. Our runners‘ efforts were crowned with new best performances, fantastic victories and plenty of great podium finishes. But now let’s take it step by step:

Scalata al Castello in Arezzo (🇮🇹)

For Purity Kajuju GITONGA it was the last race of this summer until she’ll return to Austria in autumn, for James Murithi MBURUGU it was the first international competition since October 2019. The long way led both to a 5 and 10 km evening race in Tuscany with strong African athletes. In Arezzo you always face a strong field, covidally the competition was postponed from May to August.
Purity has had a fantastic season so far, improving her personal bests in almost all distances  (1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 10Km). She was improving again at the end in Arezzo in midsummer conditions. She finished just 2 seconds behind another Kenyan in 2nd place, but achieved a new PB over 5Km in 15:36.
Equally impressive James finished second over the 10km by just 1 second, but he was very pleased with his final time of 28:07. Very well done!

While Purity is now back in Kenya, James „moved“ to Austria on Friday for a short visit.

Kerzerslauf (🇨🇭)

Usually the Kerzerslauf which is held in March, is one of the first races in Europe for our athletes. Due to the ongoing pandemic it was postponed to the second half of August. In addition to the new date there was also a change in the course with several small climbs over the 15 km classic course. With the start at 14.50 in the afternoon, the temperatures were also correspondingly high.
A quartet of men made up the run2gether selection in Switzerland. While Isaac Kipkemboi TOO and Geoffrey Githuku CHEGE have been in Austria for a few weeks now, they were joined by the „fresh“ Philimon Kipkorir MARITIM and Kipkorir BIRIR, who had just arrived from Kenya.
Already after the first kilometres the field pulled apart, also with our four runners it became clear that Isaac and Philimon were in charge on this day. Again and again, Isaac picked up the pace, opening a gap that Philimon was able to close again. In the final sprint, the „older“ Philimon was finally the happier one at the finish, Isaac came in second. Githuku finished in third place, while Birir had to settle for fourth place overall. Congratulations to the team!
With a long ride back to Kals a hot but successful day of work came to a very late end.

Results Kerzers Run

Halbmarathon Kärnten Läuft (🇦🇹)

While the runners from Switzerland were allowed to sleep on Sunday, a group of 10 had to wake up very early! One group of 6 drove over the Felbertauern to Kitzbühel (see next report). For the other part with James Murithi MBURUGU, Joel Kipkenei MELLY, Dennis Cox LOPUA and Ronaldo Ngigi KARIUKI it was off to Velden am Wörthersee to the starting point of the half marathon. The classic race along Lake Wörthersee with the finish in Klagenfurt is also always very popular with our guests of the summer running weeks.
While James and Melly were fighting for the victory in the elite field, Dennis and Ronaldo, both experienced pacemakers, accompanied two very strong amateur runners over the 21.1 km.
It was going to be a great day in Carinthia. After many years with good placings and some great podium places but never quite on the very top, James triumphed in 1:02.25 and took the first long-awaited victory in the men’s race for run2gether! Congratulations, very strong!
Melly came in a good 5th place, Dennis and Ronaldo paced their protégés to the finish line very successfully at the Austrian Half Marathon Championships which took place at the same time! Congratulations!

The international standing of Kärnten Läuft is also shown by the Hall of Fame of the past years, in which a well known Eliud Kipchoge has also entered himself as the winner of the 2013 HM…!

Results Halbmarathon

Kitzbüheler Hornlauf (🇦🇹)

12,9 Km plus 1.234 m of elevation gain with up to 25% incline….that doesn’t just sound difficult, it definitely is! From the starting point in the centre of Kitzbühel to the summit of the Kitzbühel Horn at 1,996m – that was the working route of our 6-strong run2gether mountain running team, who took on this challenge with at least a pleasantly short journey.
In the past we have always experienced great performances here, we can look back on several victories and many podium places. The field is always strong, because the race is more than just a part of the Mountain Running Cup, it is a legend.
The first 3.5 km are still „leisurely“, but most of the time the pace is already very high. The remaining 9.4 km are then merciless, winding their way in countless serpentines to the summit of the Horn.
The run2gether protagonists of this year’s race: Joyce Muthoni NJERU as the only lady, Geoffrey Gikuni NDUNGU, Timothy (Junior) Kimutai KIRUI, Gilbert Kiprotich KEMOI, Japhet Mutiri MWENDA and Peter Chege WANGARI.
Joyce is in great form this year. The winner of the Großglockner mountain race wanted to prove her strength in steep terrain again. She should succeed impressively and with a big lead, she wins the next mountain running classic sovereignly! Very strong girl!
In the men’s race, one could look forward to an exciting three-way battle between Junior, Gikuni and the strong Austrian Manuel Innerhofer. That’s how it was going to turn out in the end. Manuel, who is running an excellent season this year, was always a big competitor for our athletes at the big events. While Gikuni could not keep up the pace today, Junior and Manuel again had an exciting duel which Manuel finally won in the last climb, relegating Junior to second place! Gikuni finished 4th, Japhet 5th. Gilbert (9) and Chege (12) unfortunately did not play a role for the victory this time. Congratulations to all, it was a tough race!

Results Kitzbühler Horn Run

Euer/your run2gether Team