Sunday 20th March 2011 – Rome
The weather, cloudy and quite cold; with less wind and perhaps more sun the conditions would have been better to start the 17th edition of the Maratona di Roma which this year has been upgraded to a Golden League marathon.
The atmosphere amongst the runner was calm, no signs of nervousness and on this rare occasion all athletes were ready to leave the Hotel in buses heading for the historical centre with police escort to the most spectacular start and finish of any city marathon – by the world famous Coliseum.
Race director Massimiliano Monteforte and had put together another great selection of about 45 elite athletes ready to hit the roads of Rome with another 85000 participants that included all categories as well as the 4k walk.
The race kicked off with half marathon expert Festus Langat taking the pace and pulling the lead runners through to the 25k mark before dropping out as a pacemaker and leaving the elites to take the lead on their own.
The last 4k saw a spectacular come back by last year’s winner – Ethiopian athlete AMDA SIRAJ GENA(who was unwell and in hospital the week before) who tried to catch Kenyan runner NIXON CHUMBA KIPTOLO.
Unfortunately for him, he would not make it 2 in a row and Nixon Chumba stormed through the finish line in a time of 2.08.45 followed by Siraj Gena 2.09.21 and with 3rd place going to Ethiopian runner Dawit Shami Abdulahi in 2.09.21
The race carried a dark shadowed due to the absence of elite Japanese runners that were affected by the tragic earthquake and tsunami.
(c) Bushdrums 2011