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Rome Marathon 2010 - African Athletes and Tristan Miller

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Posted by  Cody Friday, 09 April 2010 15:43

Rome Marathon 2010 - African Athletes and Tristan Miller

Rome 2010 – African athletes and Tristan Miller:


Good morning, this is your 5.30 wake up call……


I placed the phone back into its cradle and swung my feet off the bed and onto the soft carpet floor.

Instinct took me to the window – I pulled the curtain aside to see what the weather would be like; dark…. “Okay, at least I can see that it’s not raining.” I thought to myself.


I went into the bathroom and did what all men do at 5.30am!


At 6am I was in the hotel’s main breakfast room with Kassa Tadesse - Ex junior World Champion in the half as well as full marathon.  We had been working for the past 3 days together discussing with the elite Ethiopian and Kenyan runners the route, beverages, food available and had taken them as well as 60 other top runners twice a day for training in a close by park.


Slowly the athletes entered for breakfast and pilled their plates with food.  Rice, pasta, fruits, cereals as well as high energy breakfast goods – all washed town with either tea, coffee or water.  Breakfast this morning was not for pleasure but to get as much balanced energy into the system as possible.


Okay guys – 2 hours to go shouted Massimiliano Monteforte – head of the Elite Runners Division and definitely the most responsible person of the Rome marathon.  Lets get into the buses and head to the Coliseum…..


Weather conditions – no rain, a slight wind and a chill in the air that would soon evaporate as the sun’s rays was slowly dominating Rome.


It was Sunday morning and 2 hours from the start of one of the world biggest, best but definitely most beautiful marathons that we currently have on the yearly calendar that is held in a city – a 42 kilometres run through Ancient and modern Rome with perhaps a glance of the Pope waving you by….

85 thousand participants for the marathon – this year dedicated to the Legendary Adebe Bikila who was the 1st African marathon runner (from Ethiopia) to win an Olympic gold medal in 1960 at Rome Olympic games and completed the full 42 kilometres bare foot setting at the time a new world record.


I am sure he would have been proud that a fellow Ethiopian by the name of Gena Sirraj won the 2010 Rome Marathon in 2 hours 8 mins and 39 second followed by Kenyan Barus Benson and Kenyan Machichim Nixon in 2.09 and 2.09.08 respectively.


The women’s race was won by Ethiopian Dado Firehiwot in 2 hours and 25 mins and 28 seconds, followed by Haile Kebebush and Dibaba Mare in 2.25.29 and 2.25.37 respectively.


As with all marathons the elite runners have the front section closed off to themselves allowing athletes to stretch and warm up for the big run.

The area was swarming with press – Ex formulae 1 champion Alex Zanardi was participating which attracted a large numbers of photo cameras.  My full respect has to be given to a gentleman who dedicated his life to motorsports and due to a sudden and unfortunate accident in one of his races he lost both legs.  I had the honour of speaking to him over the past few days at the hotel and I was taken back by the happiness and positive energy that he portrays.  I had complained about a resent knee operation that has placed my running shoes on the rack for a while – how stupid I felt when speaking to him and knowing what he has gone through!




In the crowd of some 100 top athletes, I received a tap on my shoulder.  “Good day mate” – how you doing today “Cody”?


Mr was relaxed as ever and ready for another marathon.  I was happy to see my new friend Tristan Miller from Melbourne (Australia). Tristan is one of those guys you meet once in a life time.  He quit his job in the computer world and decided – time to go for a run!

He commenced his 1st Marathon this year on New Years Eve in Switzerland and is doing 1 marathon per week – every week for the whole year.  Yup – 52 marathons and the last one will be held in honour of his endeavours in his home town in Melbourne on the eve of the 31st December 2010.  For those Aussies reading this – get off the couch and start getting those legs going.  You have 8 months to train and join Tristan.


If you are not into running – 1 marathon a week is not crazy (as I have yet to find a proper word to describe this) but simply nuts.  It takes the average marathon trained athlete 4 weeks to get his / hers legs back to par – he gives his legs 6 days and his body does not have time to adjust as he runs in different cities across the globe and is subject to jetlag nearly every week.


Why - ?  What is his endeavour?


Tristan Miller for UNICEF -


All money he receives and is able to generate via donations either privately or through companies will go to UNICEF.  If this is not an honourable gesture in life then what is?


Tristan is supported by his travel companion Dazzler who helps him organise and definitely motivates him –


I am not one to push readers to go and visit or join a website or forum however Tristan is different.  He really has had to change his lifestyle and abuse his body for the benefit to help children that are less fortunate.  Take a quick break and look at his websites, try and imagine what he is doing to give our young generation a better life; – the photos of running in different countries and experiencing various cultures are magnified by his unique way of writing his daily experiences that will definitely satisfy anyone in the sports world as well as those who enjoy a good story for a grand cause.


Join him, me as well as thousands of others on the following websites below and if you have that odd Dollar, Euro or what ever currency you can afford – please help out in this wonderful cause.

Nearly everyone dreams of finishing 1 marathon either walking or jogging for themselves in a life time – Tristan is running 52 for less fortunate children in 1 year!


Wish him luck and show your support on the following sites -




© - Cody