Kenya dominates Rome-Ostia marathon

The 39th Rome-Ostia half marathon took place in splendid sunshine on Sunday 3 March and was won by Kenya’s Wilson Kiprop, equalling his personal best of 59:15. Indeed it was Kenya’s day in Rome as Kiprop’s compatriots Robert Chemosin and Simon Cheprot followed him to take second and third place, with times of 59:19 and 59:20 respectively. The fastest woman was Kenya’s Flomena Cheyech who crossed the finishing line at 67:39, followed seven seconds later by fellow Kenyan Agnes Kiprop.

The 21-km marathon, scheduled a week later than usual due to the recent national elections, began at 09.15 and saw the participation of 12,000 runners, with 9,690 completing the race by 13.00. The route began near Palazzo dello Sport in EUR and continued along Via Cristoforo Colombo in the direction of the seafront at Ostia. There was also a non-competitive five-km Euroroma2Run in EUR.

Earlier this year the event, which began in 1974, was awarded the prestigious Gold Label award from the International Association of Athletics Associations (IAAF), seen as recognition of excellence. Last year's race was won by Kenyan Philemon Kimeli Limo, in 59:32, while Kenya's Florence Jebet Kiplagat’s record of 1:06:38 record made her the third fastest woman of all time.

Photos of the 2013 event can be seen on the marathon’s website

Meanwhile the newly-launched Roma Maxima professional cycling event took place on the same morning and was won by Frenchman Blel Kadri in a time of 04:26. The surprise result came after Kadri began his breakaway from the majority of the other cyclists 127km into the 180-km race.

His victory was followed 37 seconds later by one of the pre-match favourites, Italian Filippo “Pippo” Pozzato, who celebrated as he crossed the finishing line on Via dei Fori Imperiali in the mistaken belief that he had won the race. Slovenian Grega Bole came third.

The cycling event replaces the former Giro del Lazio race, which last took place in 2008, and its route incorporated the Roman Forum, Via Appia Antica, Castelli Romani, Rocca Massima, Rocca Priora, Campi di Annibale and Albano Laziale before finishing near the Colosseum.

There were 150 cyclists involved and the 16 participating teams came from Italy, France, Colombia, Kazakhstan, US, Spain, Belgium, Switzerland, Russia and Holland.