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Press release 21 march 2022

Acea Run Rome The Marathon: the top runners chase the win and the course record

The elite field of top runners competing in the Italian capital on Sunday 27 March at the Acea Run Rome The Marathon has been announced. Thirty men athletes and ten women are ready to make history and break the course record. Giorgio Calcaterra will run with the bib number 1. The last Italian win dates back to 2005. 

ROME – It’s the week of the Acea Run Rome The Marathon, the most important and the most participated running event in Italy. This Sunday it’s the most important race in the world. 

It’s going to be an exciting race where thirty of the most top runners in the world will chase the win on the glorious roads of the “Eternal City”. The Acea Run Rome The Marathon starting gun will be fired on 27 March at 8.30. Eleven thousand runners, each one with his own story, are ready to set their personal goal and to send a message of peace with the hope that it manages to relax the tension that is causing the crisis of Ukrainian people. Top runners will wear a bib with the colours of the peace flag in the background, because this edition wants to send a signal in this direction. 

LIVE TV COVERAGE – The entire Acea Run Rome The Marathon race will be broadcast live from 8.15 on Canale 20 (Mediaset) on digital terrestrial television. The television coverage of the Rome Marathon will be broadcast at international level in over 20 countries worldwide, including the USA, Canada, France, South Africa, Poland, Portugal, the Netherlands. 

HISTORY – The athletes invited by Top Runner Manager Andrea Giocondi could threaten the course records, currently held by by Kenya’s Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum, who ran 2:07:18 in 2009 in the men’s race, and Ethiopia’s Kebede Megertu Alemu, who won the won in 2:22:52 in 2019. The last edition, the Alba Edition Special Race held in September 2021, revealed the young marathon runner Clement Kiprono, who came very close to breaking the course record by running in 2:08:23 on his debut over this distance. Winner Peris Lagat Cherono was far from this goal with her final time of 2:29:29 in the women’s race. 

The roll of honour of the most successful countries features seven wins for Ethiopia, 14 wins for Kenya, 3 Italian wins by illustrious runners like Stefano Baldini, Ruggero Pertile and Alberico Di Cecco, who was the last Italian athlete to win in Rome in 2005. The women’s race was won by athletes from Russia, Estonia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Algeria. The list also includes many Italian runners, including Franca Fiacconi, Maura Viceconte, Maria Guida, Maria Cocchetti, Gloria Marconi and Ornella Ferrara, who was the last Italian winner in 2004. 

Men’s field – The line-up features ten Ethiopian athletes, seven from Kenya, four from Italy, one from Morocco and one from Rwanda. Five of these athletes have a sub-2:07 PB. Eight top runners boast a sub-2:08 and eleven athletes ran under 2:11. The favourite on paper is Morocco’s El Goumri Othmane, who set his PB of 2:06:18 less than one year ago in Ampugnano near Siena. His strongest rivals will be Ethiopia’s Fikre Bekele Tefera (2:06:27), Abraham Girma Bekele (2:06:48) and Birhanu Bekele Berga (2:06:41) and Kenya’s Ernest Kiprono Ngeno (2:06:41). All these runners have a sub-2:07 PB and can break the men’s course record. The battle for the win will hot up in the leading group, which also features Cheshari Kirui Jacob (2:07:46), Lemi Dumecha Beyi (2:07:43) and Alemayehu Mekonen Lema (2:07:23), who have run sub-2:08 PBs in their careers. 

A chasing group of 2:10 runners features Kenya’s Nicodemus Kipkurui Kimutai (2:10:00), Ethiopia’s Tadesse Mamo Temechachu (2:10:17)  and Rwanda’s Felician Muhitira, who is used to run in Italy, where he finished fifth at the Firenze Marathon 2018 and set his PB of 2:10:58 in Rome in 2019. Kenya’s Douglas Kimeli Kiprugut, who clocked 2:11:01, and Ethiopia’s Adamu Girma Todese and Getachew Kene Tufa, who ran 2:12:07 and 2:16:08 respectively, complete the line-up. 

Kenyan runners Joshua Kipkemboi, James Kibiwott Rotich and Alexander Ngeno Chepyegon and Baleiyneh Shimels Solomon and Soressa Chala Gobena from Ethiopia will make their debut over the marathon distance. 

ITALY- Rome native runner Giorgio Calcaterra will wear the bib number 1. He is the king of marathon runners, a honoris causa degree for the indomitable Rome ultra-marathon runner, who made his debut over the marathon distance more than twenty years ago in his native city and still arouses emotions by running over all distances. Recently he won the first edition of the 100 km of Conero. In the last edition of the Rome Marathon he crossed the finish-line 19th in 2:42:05 and fourth among Italian runners. 

Another Italian runner lining up is tireless Mohamed Haiiy, who ran more than 200 marathon races in his career and holds a record of seven wins at the Malta Marathon. He comes from a successful season. Last November he finished third at the Neaples Marathon ,won the Hoka Verona Marathon and finished seventh and first among Italian runners at the Asics Firenze Marathon, and second at the Pisa Marathon last December. In 2022 he has already finished second at the Terni Marathon and Carrara last February. He crossed the finish-line eleventh and second among Italian runners in 2:28:17 in the past edition of the Acea Run Rome The Marathon on 19 September. 

Luca Parisi, one of the most important local road runners, lines up with a PB of 2:18:02 set in Valencia in 2019. 

WOMEN’S LINE-UP – Ethiopia is on the top of the podium for number of athletes with four runners, followed by Morocco and Kenya with two athletes respectively. There will be one athlete each for Burundi, Rwanda and Italy. 

The line-up features four sub-2:30 runners and six sub-2:31 runners. There are also two runners, who will make their debut in the marathon and have a solid PB in the half marathon. 

Three Ethiopian runners Zinash Mekonen Lema, who holds a PB of 2:24:55 and won the world half marathon title in 2018, Yeshimat Tadesse Bifa, who ran a PB of 2:26:18, and Selamawit Getnet Tsegaw (2:27:56) start as the favourites for the podium. The Kenyan challenge will be led by Tecla Kirongo, who recently clocked 2:28:22 last February. 

The chasing group will be formed by Ethiopia’s Tadelech Bekele Nedi and Morocco’s Achahbar Sana, who ran PBs over the 2:32 barrier and Italian runners Paola Salvatori, who clocked 2:47:39, and Tiziana Scorzato, who set her PB of 2:59:19 at the Verona Marathon last November. Gladys Jeruto Kiptoo from Kenya, who set her half marathon PB of 1:11:30 at the 2020 Napoli City Half Marathon, and Moroccan 5000m champion Tahiri Rahma, who clocked 1:12:02 at the Tamesna Half Marathon, will make their debut over the marathon distance.