Venice Marathon will go forward with just two Runners, one man and one woman
Instead of the usual 5000 runners this year's Venice Marathon will only have two, one man and one woman. Under an initiative announced by race organizers yesterday called "Venicemarathon One for All," one male and one female runner will be chosen at random from the field of 5000 entrants to run the famous course from Villa Pisani Museo Nazionale, through the Piazza San Marco, to the finish at the Giardino della Marinaressa. Because of the pandemic, the remainder of the field must run virtually.
"During this hard time we worked in close and continuous contact with local authorities, health institutions and FIDAL (the Italian Federation of Athletics) to try and organize the event this year as our tradition saw in the past," said marathon president Piero Rosa Salva through a statement. "Unfortunately, the strong concern for an epidemiological situation still in progress, especially abroad, forced us, with great regret but with a necessary sense of responsibility, to recognize the impossibility of managing in health safety the events which involved last year about 30,000 people including athletes, school children, volunteers, police forces and professionals."
The marathon's 5000 registrants may run virtually, from October 24, to November 1. But the two in-person participants will "have the opportunity to run for all athletes," on the official race day of Sunday, October 25, organizers said. Those runners will have a full escort of vehicles "that will assist them along the race course, guaranteeing their safety," according to the organizers. There will be a live video stream of their run.
There will also be a start-as-you-please 10-K in the nearby Parco San Giuliano where runners can complete a marked race course anytime between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. and get an official time. The park is near the 30-K mark of the marathon course, and 10-K runners can possibly get a glimpse of the two marathoners when they go by.
The Venice Marathon is widely recognized as Italy's best fall marathon. The course records were both set by Kenyans: 2:08:13 by John Komen in 2009 and 2:23:37 by Helena Loshanyang Kirop in 2011. Last year's winners, Tesfaye Ambesa Lencho of Ethiopia and Judith Korir of Kenya, each earned 5000 euros in prize money plus time bonuses.
posted Friday September 25th
by David Monti