Run 180 : Austria – Vienna

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Date : 17th October, 2019

Time : 58’ 18”

Number of runners (total to date) : 6 (6405)

Number of talk attendees (total to date) : 29 (5546)

Run map and details :

If you have any interest in sport, or just in extraordinary human achievements, you’ll be aware that Eliud Kipchoge recently became the first person to run a marathon in under two hours. 1 h 59’40” to be exact.

And he did it in Vienna (Wien) – more specifically on the Hauptallee in Vienna’s Prater park. And so where better for Run the World Austria to take place and give us runners a chance to measure ourselves against the great man?

Of course, he did have a few things going for him. Like groups of pacemakers running in front of him in an aerodynamically efficient formation. A flexible start time optimised for a combination of humidity, wind and temperature. A laser wielding car leading the way at exactly the required pace. The new Nike Vaporfly Next% shoes. And, of course, an abundance of god given talent and determination.

And what did we – the Vindobona Hash House Harriers and yours truly – have ? A certain amateurish enthusiasm, some fringe benefits from the reputed $40 million invested by INEOS in the route and the comradeship you get wherever there are a group of hashers.

Would this be enough to challenge Kipchoge’s achievement ? Possibly not – except for our secret weapon. We were only running 10 km versus the 42.2 km run by Eliud. Surely, given this advantage, we could beat his time?

We started at the Praterstern end of Hauptallee and could immediately see some of the results of the INEOS investment. There were lines on the road and, every so often, new tarmac which meant the running surface was smooth and flat throughout.

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We ran through the Prater, the emperor’s old hunting grounds, as far as the Lusthaus – one of the two turning points on Kipchoge’s record setting course.

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Now, it’s very hard to keep your speed up around a corner, especially when it’s quite a tight corner. So they’d built a cambered road around the Lusthaus to minimise loss of speed. Unfortunately this was closed to us so we had to run round it in the usual way, bleeding speed and time as we went.

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Truthfully it probably didn’t make a huge difference as this was one of the various points where we paused to regroup…

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We then set off back up the Hauptallee getting back to our start point having run close on 9 km. A little backtracking to regroup once more before running our last kilometre through the Wurstelprater amusement park

finishing with a plank in front of the legendary Riesenrad Ferris wheel*.

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We did, in the end, beat Kipchoge’s time. But only by running less than a quarter of his distance….

I don’t know how you would beat his time over the full distance. He ran 42.2 km at an average speed of c 2 minutes 50 seconds per kilometre. If you can run one kilometre in 2 minutes 50 seconds then that’s already pretty impressive (I couldn’t and I dare say most people would struggle.) To run over 42 kilometres at that pace is simply incredible.

And so run 180 was done – just 26 to go. Not the 999 820 to go which would be the case if one of the more enthusiastic attendees at that afternoon’s school talk had been correct in guessing that there are a million countries in the world!

It just remains for me to say a huge thank you to Mr Pink, Joystick, Pussy Galore, Prima Donna and Richard Kopf from the Vindobona Hash for the company, the donations and the Kasekreiner!

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And to Maria Addie and all the staff and students at the American International School in Vienna – the talk was great fun!

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I’d love to see you all in London on 4th July 2020 for the UK, and final, leg of Run the World!

If you’d like to help fight cancer then I and, far more importantly, cancer sufferers around the world, would be immensely grateful for any donations to Cancer Research :

Please like / follow Run the World on Facebook , Instagram and Twitter because it would be great to stay in touch and because, however silly it may sound, it makes all the travel and running that little bit easier if you think people care!

*For younger readers, it played a key part in the seminal film ‘The Third Man’


Facts & Stats

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopaedia.

Austria is a land-locked country in Central Europe composed of nine federated states (Bundesländer), one of which is Vienna, Austria’s capital and its largest city. Austria occupies an area of 83,879 km2 (32,386 sq mi) and has a population of nearly 9 million people.

In the 16th century, Austria started serving as the heart of the Habsburg Monarchy and the junior branch of the House of Habsburg – one of the most influential royal dynasties in history. As an archduchy, it was a major component and administrative centre of the Holy Roman Empire. Following the Holy Roman Empire’s dissolution, Austria established its own empire in the 19th century, which became a great power and the leading force of the German Confederation. After its abolishment, the Austrian Empire pursued its own course independent of the affairs of other German States. Following the Austro-Prussian War and the compromise with Hungary, the Dual Monarchy was established.

Austria was involved in World War I under Emperor Franz Joseph following the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, the presumptive successor to the Austro-Hungarian throne. Austria was also the birthplace of Adolf Hitler, who became the Chancellor of the German Reich. Prior to the invasion of Poland in 1939, Germany previously annexed Austria by the Anschluss and seized the Sudetenland under terms outlined by the Munich Agreement. Following the defeat of Nazi Germany and an extended period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as a sovereign and self-governing democratic nation known as the Second Republic.

Austria is a parliamentary representative democracy with a directly elected Federal President as head of state and a Chancellor as head of the federal government. Major urban areas of Austria include GrazLinzSalzburg and Innsbruck. Austria is consistently ranked in the top 20 richest countries in the world by GDP per capita terms. The country has achieved a high standard of living and in 2018 was ranked 20th in the world for its Human Development Index. Vienna consistently ranks in the top internationally on quality-of-life indicators.

The Second Republic declared its perpetual neutrality in foreign political affairs in 1955. Austria has been a member of the United Nations since 1955 and[ joined the European Union in 1995. Austria also signed the Schengen Agreement in 1995, and adopted the euro currency in 1999.

 World Bank Data

Here’s the latest World Bank data for Austria – with the year 2000 as a comparison.

GDP $455.7 bn 2018 $196.8 bn 2000
Population 8.8 m 2018 8.0 m 2000
Primary school enrolment* 103% 2017 104% 2000
CO2 Emissions** 6.87 2014 7.77 2000
% below poverty line*** NA NA
Life expectancy at birth 81.6 yrs 2017 78.1 yrs 2000
GNI per capita $49 260 2018 $26 790 2000

*Percentage can exceed 100% due to the inclusion of over and under aged students

** Metric tons per capita

***The World Bank notes that the methodology can vary between countries and over time within a given country. (While much of the World Bank data generally follows understandable trends, this number often oscillates wildly suggesting that different methodologies are frequently used over time within a given country.)

Greatest Sporting Nation Data

Finally, here’s the data from Greatest Sporting Nation on how Austria performed in the global sporting arena in 2018:

Global Cup – 22nd

Per Capita Cup – 10th

The Global Cup aggregates results from over 1000 events across 80 sports to produce the definitive annual ranking of international sporting success. The Per Capita Cup uses the same data to produce an annual per capita ranking.

About Run the World

I'm running 10 km in every country in the world - a total of 205 countries - by the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. I'm doing the Run the World challenge to promote the benefits of sport and physical activity and to raise money for cancer research following the death of my mother from cancer. If you'd like to donate to Cancer Research - - then I know they'd be very grateful.
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4 Responses to Run 180 : Austria – Vienna

  1. Pingback: Run 181 : Czech Republic – Prague | dansgoldchallenge

  2. Pingback: Germany – Berlin | dansgoldchallenge

  3. Pingback: Run 180 : Austria – Vienna | dansgoldchallenge

  4. Philip says:

    These blogs are riveting. Maybe some more than others. But – compelling, every one, to this wholly vicarious runner.

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