Major sporting event in Rome attracts record attendance
The 20th Rome City Marathon is being held at 08.50 on Sunday 23 March, beginning and ending at the Colosseum, with registrations closing on 10 March.
So far over 17,000 athletes have entered the race – the highest amount ever and an increase of 3,000 from last year.
Over 9,000 Italian runners are taking part (compared to last year's 8,000) while the number of foreign athletes has increased dramatically: 8,000 runners from 122 different countries, compared to last year's 6,000 runners from 81 countries. The number of nations represented has also smashed the marathon's previous record of 83 in 2010.
The time limit for crossing the finish line is seven hours, and anyone who fails to reach the halfway mark within three and a half hours will be required to give up. Those who last the distance however will be rewarded with a medal, a goody bag and a foil wrap to stay warm.
Last year's fastest runners were predominantly Ethiopian and Kenyan, and the race was won by Ethiopian Getachew Terfa Negari with a time of 2:07:56. He was followed by his compatriot Girmay Birhanu Gebru who finished in 2:08:11, while third place went to Kenyan Stephen Chemlany, with 2:08:30. The fastest woman was Kenyan Helena Kirop with a time of 2:24:40 – setting the marathon’s third fastest woman's record.
In addition to the main event there is the non-competitive "Stracittadina" 5-km fun run which finishes at the Circo Massimo. In recent years this event has grown increasingly popular, and regularly attracts over 80,000 runners.
For full details in English and Italian, including registration, see the marathon website.