The start list of the elite athletes participating in Acea Run Rome The Marathon – 12 men and 8 women – has been announced.
Winner and record-breaker in 2022, the Ethiopian, Tefera, is returning. Absolute African domination of the women’s race
Four Italians will compete for national glory, including the ‘King of Rome’, Giorgio Calcaterra
ROME – This will be yet another emotion-filled edition of Acea Run Rome The Marathon, kicking off on Sunday, 19 March 2023 at 8 am with the first of 3 start waves. The following ones will be at 8.04 and 8.10. Next on the schedule will be the Acea Run4Rome relay at 8.15 am and the SN4IFUN Run Derby at 8.30 am.
It will be kicked off in grand style with the Frecce Tricolori parade, accompanied by the National Anthem and Nessun Dorma performed by tenor, Carlo Assogna – a tradition that began several editions ago – with the addition this year of the indomitable Gruppo Storico Romano legionnaires.
There are races for everyone, with the Acea Run4Rome – the relay race that supports the charity programme – the SN4IFun Run – a derby – and, this year, the new Stracanina, in which the whole family can enjoy a Sunday dedicated to sport and wellbeing along the streets of the most beautiful city in the world.
TOP MALE RUNNERS – Nearly 15,000 runners will take to the field, including a group of top athletes with dreams of conquering Rome and earning a place on the Acea Run Rome The Marathon roll of honour.
Thirteen men are in the running for a headline finish: Africa leads the pack with no less than ten athletes – four Ethiopians, three Kenyans and one Moroccan – and four Italians will be defending their national pride.
Three athletes have times under 2h10’00”, led by the course record-holder, Ethiopian, Fikre Bekele, who won the last edition in Rome last year with a time of 2h06’48“. He recently improved his personal best when he won the Linz Marathon in 2h06’16”. He’s an athlete who is used to winning, as evidenced by his first-place finishes at the Vadodara Marathon in 2018 and in Frankfurt in 2019. Also on the starting list, with a personal best set at the Marrakech Marathon in 2020, where he finished in 8th place with a time of 2h08’47”, is Ethiopian, Alemu Gemechu. Just over a minute behind is his compatriot, Berhanu Heye (2h09’53”), a time that gave him victory at the last edition of the La Rochelle Marathon.
There are four other athletes with times between 2h10’00” and 2h12’00”: first and foremost, the Kenyan, Nicodemus Kimutai, who set his best time of 2h10’00” in Prague in 2019, finishing in 8th place. Next in this small group of contenders, with a personal best of 2h10’26”, with which he took 6th place at the Ljubljana Marathon in 2014, is the Kenyan, Wilfred Kirwa Kigen. Trying to keep up with him will be Italian, Stefano La Rosa (Carabinieri), who boasts a personal best of 2h11’08”, set in Seville in 2018, a record he recently came close to again in Seville in 2022 when he stopped the clock at 2h11’24”. Just a few seconds separate him from the winner of the Dublin Marathon in 2022, Moroccan, Taoufik Allam, who carries the title of National 10,000 m Champion in 2022 and a record time of 2h11’30”.
The third group is led by the Ethiopian, Sisay Fekadu Berhanu, with a time of 2h12’03”, followed by the Kenyan, Rogers Keror, 6th at the Munich Marathon in 2022, where he set a record time of 2h12’34”. Bringing up the rear are the Italian, Alessandro Giacobazzi (Aeronautica Militare), ready to break his record of 2h15’25” which put him on the top step of the podium at the 2017 Turin Marathon, and Nekagenet Crippa (Esercito), whose fine form was demonstrated recently at the Naples City Half-Marathon, where he was the first Italian to finish.
For Nekagenet Crippa, this is something of a second debut, having participated without adequate preparation in the single Verbania Marathon in 2016, finishing in 2h21’17”. A separate paragraph must be dedicated to the King of Rome, the much-loved and indestructible Giorgio Calcaterra (Calcaterra Sport) – for this ultramarathon runner, it will be a sort of honorary degree, more than twenty years after his debut in the queen of races in his beloved Rome, where he placed 24th overall and fourth in the Italians with a time of 2h38’00”. During his career, he has run over 330 marathons, won the 100 km ultramarathon World Championship three times, and is famous for his 12 consecutive victories in the 100 km Passatore, the most famous ultramarathon in the world.
TOP FEMALE RUNNERS – The field is completely dominated by Africa, with eight female competitors – six with times under 2h30’00”, one making her debut and including six Ethiopians and two Kenyans. On paper, victory belongs to Ethiopia’s Zinash Debebe Getachew, based on her best time of 2h27’15” set in Guangzhou in 2018. Less than a minute separates her from the Kenyan, Brenda Kiprono, who managed 2h28’27” in Enschede in 2022, in turn closely followed by the Ethiopian, Fozya Amid Jemal, 5th in Lisbon in 2022 with a time of 2h28’30”. Ethiopia is also home to the winner of the 2022 Beirut Marathon, Muluhojam Ambi, who set a personal best on that occasion with a time of 2h28’59”, followed by her compatriot, Jemila Shure, who came 6th in Lisbon in 2021 with a time of 2h29’11”. There will also be Chefo Shuke Denbeli, who boasts a time of 2h29’51” in Dublin in 2019, when she crossed the finish line in third place, and Betty Chepkwony, who came 8th in Istanbul in 2021 with a time of 2h30’28”. Ethiopian, Etsegenet Ezhiw will be making her debut.