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The Vienna City Marathon (VCM) is on its way to break records.

VCM runs towards top attendance

The Vienna City Marathon (VCM) is on its way to break records.

Organisers of the competition – Austria’s biggest sporting event – said today (Thurs) over 28,000 athletes from 110 countries all around the world have already registered to participate in the VCM’s various competitions on 17 April.

Especially the Half Marathon competition and the relay race are understood to be immensely popular, while thousands of hobby and professional runners plan to compete over the iconic Marathon distance of 42.195 kilometres.

A record 32,940 people took part last year.

Chief organiser Wolfgang Konrad recently stressed: "We expect this year’s participation to be beyond 30,000 – but it’s not about breaking records for us. We want to improve our offer to runners and the audience."

Konrad revealed there will be musical entertainment of various genres over 12 kilometres of the track.

Long-distance running legend Haile Gebrselassie will be among those competing in the Half Marathon at the VCM 2011. The 37-year-old Ethiopian said earlier this week he restarted his training regime after having been resting for some time due to a knee injury.

The VCM, which first took place in 1984, has developed into an important boost for the Viennese tourism industry over the years. For more information and to sign up for next month’s event, visit www.vienna-marathon.com

The 10th Linz Marathon (www.linz-marathon.at) will take place one week before the VCM on 10 April.

The Salzburg Marathon (www.salzburg-marathon.at) is another major Austrian running event. It will take place on 15 May this year.

The Graz Marathon (www.grazmarathon.at) is the biggest long-distance running competition of the country in autumn. It is set to happen on 9 October.

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