Vienna City Marathon runs with a new lead

Wolfgang Konrad, Vienna's "Mister Marathon" for many years, retired at the beginning of the year at the age of 65. Dominik Konrad and Kathrin Widu take over the management.

The era of Wolfgang Konrad as organiser of the Vienna City Marathon (VCM) and head of the VCM Group came to an end at the start of 2024. The former world-class runner retired on 1 January and stepped down as managing director. His successors are his son Dominik Konrad and Kathrin Widu, who have both been co-managing directors of Austria's largest active sports event since 2019.

"I have created, changed and achieved a lot. After 40 years of organising sporting events, the time has come to say 'thank you' for a great time and happily hand over the reins to a younger generation," said Wolfgang Konrad, who celebrated his 65th birthday on 22 December 2023.

An inspiring sporting highlight

Konrad organised his first of over 150 sporting events in 1983. From 1989, he was responsible for organising the Vienna City Marathon, making him the most experienced race director on the international marathon scene. Under his leadership, the VCM developed into a highlight of popular and elite sport and a strong economic factor. The event, with 40,000 registered runners from 125 nations every year, is Austria's only running event that is one of the World Athletics Label races of the International Association of Athletics Federations due to its sporting and organisational quality.

Dominik Konrad, 35, is now the sole managing director of Enterprise Sport Promotion GmbH. Kathrin Widu, 41, remains the sole managing director of Vienna City Marathon Marketing- und Vertriebs GmbH.

Potential and development opportunities

"Running and the marathon have been with me my whole life. In the 17 years that I have worked for the VCM Group, I have witnessed and actively contributed to many phases in the development of the company and our events. I would like to thank the many dedicated people in our team and especially my father, who has made the Vienna City Marathon the event that we are able to experience today. The Vienna City Marathon and its events still offer a lot of potential and development opportunities. I am therefore looking forward to the exciting task of working on our ambitious goals together with Kathrin Widu and our team," says Dominik Konrad, who studied Tourism and Event Management and Sales Manager Academy Hohe Warte at the WU Executive Academy.

Positive contribution to society

Kathrin Widu has been with the company since 2005 and has become familiar with all aspects of the Vienna City Marathon. "It makes me very proud that we make a positive contribution to society through our activities and that the VCM and all our other events encourage a healthy and active lifestyle," says Widu, who studied Tourism Management at the Vienna University of Applied Sciences and Sports Marketing at IST Düsseldorf.

"We look forward to continuing to realise meaningful and sustainable running events together with our partners and our team, creating unforgettable experiences and shaping the future of the Vienna City Marathon," both managing directors said in unison.

About the VCM Group

With Enterprise Sport Promotion GmbH, Vienna City Marathon Marketing- und Vertriebs GmbH and Sport- und Leichtathletikclub Wien, the VCM Group is the successful agency for live sporting events in Austria. The team designs, organises and implements Austria's largest annual sporting event, the Vienna City Marathon. The VCM Group also used its extensive expertise to manage the course of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Tyrol in 2018 and as co-organiser of the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna in 2019. At this world event, Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge became the first person in history to run a marathon in under two hours.

The VCM Group's strength lies in its decades of experience, perfect planning and precise realisation of events in public spaces. With vision and a wealth of ideas, it succeeds in creatively designing events and realising them with effective communication. Thanks to its expertise in the event sector, the VCM Group is the perfect partner for major events and ideas.

The VCM Group acts in a socially responsible manner. Charity programmes of the Vienna City Marathon and the children's movement initiative "The Daily Mile" are a clear expression of this.

Since 2023, Enterprise Sport Promotion GmbH has also been a shareholder of Tour of Austria GmbH, the successor organisation to the traditional Austrian Cycling Tour.

About Wolfgang Konrad

Wolfgang Konrad (born 22 December 1958 in Landeck, Tyrol) is a successful sports organiser and former top Austrian runner. His main discipline was the 3,000 metre steeplechase. He took part in the 1980 Olympic Games and came fifth at the 1982 European Championships. In 1979 and 1982, he was third in the world's top list.

As an event organiser, he became particularly well known for organising the Vienna City Marathon. His company also made significant contributions to the organisation of the UCI Road Cycling World Championships in Innsbruck in 2018 and the INEOS 1:59 Challenge in Vienna in 2019.

Wolfgang Konrad was awarded the Gold Medal of Honour for Services to the Republic of Austria in 2017 and the Silver Medal of Honour for Services to the State of Vienna in 2014.

Born in Tyrol, he lives in Ebreichsdorf, Lower Austria. He is married to Inge and has two sons. His older son Dominik (* 1988) is managing director of Enterprise Sport Promotion GmbH. His younger son Patrick (* 1991) is a successful professional cyclist who finished seventh overall in the Giro d'Italia in 2018 and won a stage of the Tour de France in 2021. Wolfgang Konrad is himself a keen amateur cyclist and equally enthusiastic grandfather of three.

As an athlete, he won a total of 13 Austrian national championship titles, including six over 3,000 metres steeplechase (1978-80, 1982, 1985, 1986), four in cross-country (1979, 1980, 1985, 1988) and one each in the 3 × 1,000 m relay (1980), over 1,500 metres indoors (1984) and over 3,000 metres indoors (1986).

His personal best of 8:17.22 minutes over 3,000 metres in 1982 held the Austrian record for almost 17 years.

Wolfgang Konrad began working in the organisation of events during his time as an active athlete. In 1983, he organised his first event at the Nikololauf in Mödling. He went on to organise various road races, triathlons and mountain bike races. In 1988, he organised the first edition of the Austrian Women's Run. In 1989, he took over the management of the Vienna City Marathon, which had been organised by a different team from 1984 to 1988.

VCM media release / AM