Rome marathon confirmed on 17 March

Rome’s mayor Gianni Alemanno has confirmed that the date for the city’s marathon scheduled for Sunday 17 March will be respected regardless of whether there will be the enthronement of a new pope that day. However the marathon could be postponed until 16.00 that Sunday rather than the present time of 09.00 if necessary.

Speaking at the marathon's launch at the city's MACRO contemporary art museum on 6 March, Alemanno said that from a logistic point of view it could prove "a very challenging day for the city."

The mayor said that the marathon's current date would be respected no matter what happens because of the large amount of participating foreigner runners who have made hotel and flight bookings.

Due to the upcoming papal conclave, the 2013 marathon will not pass near the area around St Peter's but instead will pass through Testaccio and the Olympic Village.

This year the popular 42-km marathon has attracted 14,000 subscribers: some 8,000 Italians and over 6,000 foreigners from 81 countries. However this represents a decrease from last year when more than 16,000 runners took part in the race.

In addition to the main event there is the non-competitive "Stracittadina" 5-km fun run.

For full details see marathon website.