VCM Medical Center

The VCM Medical Centre at the marathon expo "Vienna Sports World" is a last-minute point of contact for acute health problems before the race. VCM Medical Director Dr. Robert Fritz, and the entire team of experts at Sportordination will be available to participants on the Friday and Saturday before the race. The aim is to minimise potential health risks and increase safety for the runners.  

At the VCM Medical Centre, you will be examined and advised if you are unsure whether you should start due to acute problems, such as a cold or musculoskeletal pain. Many amateur athletes were given the necessary reassurance and personalised advice after having their health checked. A few had to be advised against taking part in the race.

Marathon Check: Healthy at the start!

Regular running has many positive effects. However, physical exertion can also lead to health problems, usually in connection with pre-existing conditions. To minimise the risk of this happening, follow these tips. 

Take responsibility for your health!  
  • When was the last time you had a resting ECG or blood test?
  • When was the last time you had the annual check-up that is possible in Austria?
A sports medical check-up is generally recommended between the ages of 35 and 60. An exercise ECG including exercise blood pressure should also be carried out. An echocardiography (ultrasound examination of the heart) is recommended in the event of minor abnormalities.  

From the age of 60, such a medical examination should be carried out in any case.

Take "harmless" infections seriously!

Seemingly harmless infections can have serious consequences - for example infections of the upper respiratory tract, tooth root infections and infections of the ear, nose and throat region. If training is continued without a break during the infection, this can lead to inflammation of the heart muscle, which can end in heart failure and the death of the athlete. 

Seek advice!

If you have a cold, an increased resting heart rate, fever, pain in the musculoskeletal system, ...: Don't just carry on training and, if in doubt, get a check-up and advice from your GP or sports doctor. 


The "PAR-Q questionnaire" provides some orientation. If you answer YES to one or more of the questions, you should consult a doctor and have yourself examined and advised before you think about starting a marathon. 
  • Has a doctor ever told you that you have "something wrong with your heart" and only recommended exercise and sport under medical supervision?
  • Have you had chest pain in the last month?
  • Do you have problems breathing at rest or during physical exertion?
  • Have you ever fallen or lost consciousness due to dizziness?
  • Do you have a bone or joint problem that could worsen under physical exertion?
  • Have you ever been prescribed medication by a doctor for high blood pressure or a heart or breathing problem?
  • Are you aware of any other reason why you should not exercise without medical supervision?
  • Good health is always a prerequisite for a great running experience!

How to stay healthy at the VCM!

First aid service of the Red Cross
On the weekend of the event, a huge and dedicated team of the Red Cross will provide medical care for the runners and visitors of the Vienna City Marathon.

If you see another runner having problems, please inform the nearest Red Cross team - they are positioned at regular intervals along the route or have a spectator dial the emergency number 144. 

Health tips for the race 
  • Please drink enough - even before the start - isotonic drinks are essential.
  • If you feel thirsty, you have already lost a lot of energy. You will hardly be able to make up for the lack of fluids during the marathon.
  • Headaches are usually an indication of insufficient fluids - drink up.
  • Always wear head protection in strong sunlight.
  • Adapt your goal and your pace to the current weather conditions.
  • Don't set off too quickly. Plan a steady race and stick to it.
  • Listen to your body when something hurts. Take a break from walking if a muscle is sore or you have a side stitch.
  • Take a break if you feel dizzy or nauseous. If the discomfort does not improve: get help.
  • Do not stop abruptly at the finish line, as you could possibly have circulatory problems. Make sure you continue straight after the finish line.
  • If another runner has problems, please inform the nearest medical team - they are positioned at regular intervals along the route or have a spectator call the emergency number 144.


Pollen allergy sufferers naturally benefit from physical activity just like everyone else. However, it requires a conscious approach with pollen allergy. The Pollenservice Vienna of the MedUni Vienna and the team of the VCM wish to support you for this purpose.

You will find here general tips for the preparation.

Current forecast - 15.04.2024:
The starting conditions for pollen allergy sufferers are more favourable than ever this year. Due to the unusually high temperatures in winter, many of the main allergens have already reached the end of their flowering period. In addition, the current cold front is significantly reducing the pollen levels. Find here a preview of the VCM weekend

On the Friday before the marathon, MedUni Vienna will publish a specific forecast for the pollen count over the next three days.

Course map:
Here we provide a map of the VCM course marking higher frequencies of specific allergenic plants.
Course Plan Sunday, 21.04.2024
Wiener Städtische Half Marathon
Powerade Relay Marathon

Show & Download PDF 

Course Plan Saturday, 20.04.2024
Vienna 5K
The Daily Mile Run 800
The Daily Mile Run 1600
Coca-Cola Inclusion Run

Show & Download PDF 

General tips for runners with pollen allergies

Before the run:
Check our pollen forecasts and information, that is presented here and on From which pollen allergy/allergies do you suffer? Are the plants relevant for you marked in the map? Do those plants already cause pollination according to the pollen forecasts? This knowledge is of importance for further steps.

Take care that your medical supplies are up to date also concerning your pollen allergies.

Medication which is individually relevant and helpful for you should be sufficiently available.

Should you have any health concerns or need to discuss uncertainties concerning your participation please plan your run with a medical specialist.

Alcohol as well as cigarette smoke has a negative effect on pollen allergies and should be avoided or at least limited before the run.

During the run:
Wear sunglasses and a head covering. Both accessories serve as a barrier for pollen and reduce a direct contact.

Tie up longer hair, so that there is less contact area and less pollen is collected.

Drink enough water. This is important to keep the mucous membranes moist and should not be neglected in case of pollen allergies as well.

After the run:
Apply a nose shower or rinse your nose with a saline solution. This procedure can relieve your nose, contributes to a reduction of possible swellings of the mucous membranes and removes allergen.

Do not take off your clothes from outdoors in your sleeping room and enjoy a shower. Especially hair should be thoroughly washed, since pollen is collected there and can unnecessarily carried into the sleeping area.

We wish you a successful and comfortable run! 

More on

Medication check online

Doping and drug abuse? Not with us. Here you can quickly and easily check whether a medication you may be using contains prohibited substances as defined by the anti-doping regulations. 
 Unlike top athletes, amateur runners are not tested for doping. However, in the interests of clean and healthy sport, we would like to draw your attention to this medication check.  

Important to know: For many people, taking certain medications makes an active life with sport possible in the first place. It is only supportive if, for example, someone is active in sport and takes part in running events after illnesses that require further drug treatment.

Get ready for the race!

Shirts, caps & more - you'll find everything you need for your run in our online shop!