THE HISTORY OF THE MARATHON

Run in Rome, run in an open-air museum.

Rome now, today as two thousand years ago. The forever invincible and eternal Rome. A city where you fall in love at each and every step, where every step will make you feel a glorious marathoner.

Rome awaits you, glorious, colorful and loud. Rome is unique. With it’s thrilling romantic sunset on the Gianicolo and the quiet sunrise on Lungotevere. 42.195 km rich of art and history, cobblestones stepped by the crumpled sandals of roman gladiators in the past and by hundreds of thousands of marathoners in the last 25 years.

Runners in Rome became real marathoners. Eternal. Runners who’s tears started at the Colosseum and along the Fori Imperial, during the first kilometer of a long journey called Marathon. Whom cried again at the finish line, because the joy of achieving a medal is always unbearable.

Alongside the journey, each marathoner has encountered monuments and places that only Rome, in the whole world can offer, emotions that only the eternal city can give.  The road strolls by, asphalt and cobblestones, maritime pines and applauses oh thousands of fans along the streets embrace this unique open-air museum, one can find only here.

Who runs in Rome, makes history, runs in history, retraces the history.

Rome’s marathon through history, from 1906. The winners and its evolution up to today’s Run Rome the Marathon.

The marathon in the Italian capital has a strong tradition. We could go back over a century to 2 April 1906, when the Emilian Dorando Pietri won the marathon, crossing the finishing line in Piazza di Siena. We could go back 60 years, to that magical night of the 1960 Olympics in Rome, when Ethiopian Abebe Bikila opened the season of African marathon runners, running the whole race barefoot. He became a legend, his stride along Appia Antica illuminated by torches is pure athletics history, as is the photo of him winning on arrival at the Arch of Constantine.

More gold medals again, this time at the World Championships on 6 September 1987 with the success of Kenyan-Japanese Douglas Wakiihuri, a great icon of world running.

The marathon we all know today originated in 1995 with the Italia Marathon Club and in 2011 was awarded the prestigious IAAF Gold Label recognition. In 2019 the organisation was entrusted to FIDAL, and since 2020 there has been a new organising committee formed by Infront, Corriere dello Sport – Stadio, Italia Marathon Club and Atielle Roma. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, the edition of 29 March 2020 could not take place; with just weeks to go the start, it had to be halted for a global lockdown that stopped it being held. New energies and a new edition scheduled for Sunday 19 September 2021 already called Alba Edition Special Race, the marathon of recovery, of comeback, of a great international event in the Eternal City. Departure at dawn, with the sun’s rays illuminating the monuments, a unique and unrepeatable opportunity to experience an exciting page of history.

Recent editions have attracted over 115 participating countries, while in the men’s roll of honour there have been 7 successes for Ethiopia, 13 for Kenya, and 3 for Italy with Stefano Baldini, Ruggero Pertile and Alberico Di Cecco. For women we find victories flying the flag of Russia, Estonia, Kenya, Ethiopia and Algeria. There is also a significant Italian presence thanks to the victories of Franca Fiacconi, Maura Viceconte, Maria Guida, Maria Cocchetti, Gloria Marconi and Ornella Ferrara.

The race record is held by Benjamin Kiptoo Kolum (Kenya) who reached the Imperial Forum in 2009 in 2:07:18, while the fastest woman ever was Kebede Megertu Alemu (Ethiopia) who clocked 2:22:52 in 2019.

CURIOSITY   ──────

During the Holy Year, the marathon was held on New Year’s Eve, January 1, 2000, a day in history.

Unforgettable the success in 2010 ok Siraj Gena from Kenya whom crossed the finish line barefooted to honour abebe Bikila. In 1960 Bikila was the first white African to win an Olympic Gold medal and ran the whole marathon barefooted, he had been given new shoes hours before the start, but he preferred to run barefooted. Half a century later Siraj Gena took his shoes off 500 meters from the finish line where one of the sons of Bikila was watching.

Male winners

EditionYearWinnerNationalityTime
11995Belayneh TadesseEthiopia2h 10' 13"
21996Moges TayeEthiopia2h 12' 03"
31997Dube JilloEthiopia2h 13' 08"
41998Stefano BaldiniItaly2h 09' 33"
51999Philip TanuiKenya2h 09' 56"
62000Philip TanuiKenya2h 08' 27"
72001Henry CheronoKenya2h 11' 27"
82002Vincent KipsosKenya2h 09' 30"
92003Frederick CheronoKenya2h 08' 47"
102004Ruggero PertileItaly2h 10' 12"
112005Alberico Di CeccoItaly2h 08' 02"
122006David KipkorirKenya2h 08' 38"
132007Elias Chelimo KemboiKenya2h 09' 36"
142008Yego Jonathan KiptooKenya2h 09' 57"
152009Benjamin Kiptoo KolumKenya2h 07' 18"
162010Siraj GenaEthiopia2h 08' 39"
172011Chumba Dixon KiptoloKenya2h 08' 45"
182012Luka Lokobe KandaKenya2h 08' 04"
192013Getachew Terfa NegariEthiopia2h 07' 56"
202014Legese Shume HailuEthiopia2h 09' 47"
212015Abebe Negewo DegefaEthiopia2h 12' 23"
222016Amos KiprutoKenya2h 08' 12"
232017Shura Kitata TolaEthiopia2h 07' 30"
242018Cosmas Jairus Kipchoge BirechKenya2h 08' 05"
252019Heyi Tebalu ZawudeEthiopia2h 08' 37"
242020Not disputed due to COVID
252021KIPRONO Langat ClementKenya2h 08' 23"

In red the current record.

Female winners

EditionYearWinnerNationalityTime
11995Elena SipatovaRussia2h 37' 46"
21996Fatuma RobaEthiopia2h 29' 05"
31997Jane SalumaeEstonia2h 31' 41"
41998Franca FiacconiItaly2h 28' 12"
51999Maura ViceconteItaly2h 29' 36"
62000Tegla LoroupeKenya2h 32' 03"
72001Maria GuidaItaly2h 30' 42"
82002Maria CocchettiItaly2h 33' 06"
92003Gloria MarconiItaly2h 29' 35"
102004Ornella FerraraItaly2h 27' 49"
112005Silviya SkvortosovaRussia2h 28' 01"
122006Tetyana HladyrUkraine2h 25' 44"
132007Souad Ait SalemAlgeria2h 25' 08"
142008Galina BogomolovaRussia2h 22' 53"
152009Firehiwot DadoEthiopia2h 27' 09"
162010Firehiwot DadoEthiopia2h 25' 28"
172011Firehiwot DadoEthiopia2h 24' 13"
182012Hellen KimutaiKenya2h 31' 11"
192013Helena KiropKenya2h 24' 40"
202014Geda Ayelu LemmaEthiopia2h 34' 49"
212015Meseret Kitata TowalkEthiopia2h 30' 25"
222016Tusa RahmaEthiopia2h 28' 49"
232017Tusa RahmaEthiopia2h 27' 23"
242018Tusa RahmaEthiopia2h 23' 46"
252019Kebede Megertu AlemuEthiopia2h 22' 52"
242020Not disputed due to COVID
252021PERIS Lagat JeronoKenya2h 29' 29"

In red the current record.

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