Ethiopia’s Bekele Fikre Tefera sets the course record with 2:06:48 at the Acea Run Rome The Marathon - RUN ROME THE MARATHON

Tefera won the Acea Run Rome The Marathon breaking the course record with 2:06:48. Ethiopia claimed the double winning in the women’s race with Sechale Dalasa Adugna, who crossed the finish-line in 2:26:09. Giorgio Calcaterra and Ukraine’s Viktoria Gudyma, who escaped from Kiev a few days ago and is hosted by Athletica Vaticana, crossed the finish-line. The Pope greeted marathon runners at Angelus. 

ROME – You carry the emotional feeling for your entire life. The winners of the Acea Run Rome The Marathon Bekele Fikre Tefera, who set the course record with 2:06:48, and Sechale Dalasa Adugna, who  wanted to cross the finish-line at all costs despite some physical problem during the race in 2:26.09, know it very well. 

The 11 thousand runners started from the Fori Imperiali this morning with the Coliseum in the backdrop and the Altar of the Fatherland and the Trajan’s Column to embrace the participants. Rome Sports and Tourism Councillor Alessandro Onorato gave the start by waving the flag of peace. A rainbow was printed on the bibs of the top runners and pacemakers. These symbolic gestures remark the desire that also involves the sports world. This perfect day was completed by the greetings of Pope Francis during the Angelus in St. Peters Square. “I greet all the participants of the Rome Marathon. Thanks to the initiative of Athletica Vaticana many athletes have been involved in solidarity projects. Congratulations”.

The Race – There were three starts, each of them was baptized by confetti with the colours of the Ukraine. Five thousand foreigners from 102 countries took part in the Rome Marathon, which showed once again the international character of this marathon. In a morning when the weather conditions were on the side of marathon runners, a pale sun came through the cloudy sky at the end of the race, with an ideal temperature. 

Men’s race – The men’s race was incredibly exciting and hard-fought until the 35 km, when Tefera increased his pace to take the win. At 30 km the leading pack ran together after going through the 21 km mark in 1:02:47. Ten runners formed the leading group: Naibei, Tefera, El Goumri, Temechachu, Kogo, Ngeno, Bekele, Jacob, Mekonen and Tufa. The marathon was decided in the final 10 km. The trio formed by Tefera, Temechachu and El Goumri pulled away from the rest of the field. Tefera broke away from his two rivals and held on to cross the finish-line first with 2:06:48, breaking the previous best time set by Benjamin Kiptoo Kolun with 2:07:18 in 2009.

Ethiopia’s Tadesse Temechachu and  Morocco’s Othamane El Goumri also dipped under the previous course record clocking 2:07:04 and 2:07:16 respectively. Nine athletes dipped under the 2:10 barrier. 

Luca Parisi was the first Italian finisher in 12th place with 2:20:40. He was happy to run in his home city. He decided to continue until the end despite some physical problems. As he said the Italian capital race is one of the best and important marathon races in the world.  Giorgio Calcaterra finished in the top 20 crossing the finish-line eighteenth in 2:38:00. 

Women’s race – Dalasa Sechale Adugna won a one-sided women’s race. She ran in the small leading pack before taking the lead km after km. Kenya’s Kiptoo tried to keep up Adugna’s pace at 21 km (1:11:10), but she was dropped by 36 seconds. Adugna dominated the race step by step and took the win in 2:26:09 despite some stomach problems which slowed her down in the final 7 km ahead of Kiptoo (2:28:45) and her compatriot Bekele Tadelech Nedi (2:31:01). Paola Salvatori was the first Italian finisher in eighth place in 2:49:17. 

The quotes from the winners

Bekele Fikre Tefera: “I am very happy. At 35  km I realized that I could win the race and break the course record. I felt it was the right moment and I did not fear to launch my kick”. 

Delasa Sechale Adugna: “I am happy, I feared that I would not be able to finish the race. Aftet the 30 km I felt a stomach problem, but I held on. There is a bit of everything in this win: enthusiasm, fear, tiredness, but a great happiness”. 

Giorgio Calcaterra – “This race is even more beautiful and better organised. A marathon worth of its name. I did what I could. Perhaps I trained too hard and I was a bit tired. I crossed the finish-line in 2:38. I hoped to run some minutes faster. Until halfway everything went well. I lost something in the second part, but  I am happy with my race because I enjoyed my 20th Rome marathon in 27 editions. I ran for the first time in Rome at the age of 18 in 1990. I think I ran 260 marathon races in my life. 

The Ukrainian flag waves – She crossed the finish-line with a big smile on her face, although she is far from happy. Ukraine’s 30-year-old Viktoriia Gudyma came to Italy with her 10-year-old son, directly from Warsaw, where she fled after the start of the conflict between Russia and the Ukraine. She landed at the Fiumicino with no baggage. Viktoriia and her child were hosted for some days at the “Istituto di Suore Adoratrici del Sangue di Cristo” in Via Labicana. The organisers of the Rome Marathon provided Viktoriia with new running shoes, a kit of shorts and t-shirt. She thanked them in the best possible way with her smile, when she crossed the finish-line in 3:28:19. She said: “I am very happy to be in Rome and with my race today. I ran for Ukrainian people, with my country in the heart and the Ukrainian flag on my shoulders. That blue colour represented peace”. 

The relays – Running does good thanks to the relay teams who took part in the Run 4 Rome, whose registration fee have been donated to the no-profit organisations who joined the charity program: Fondazione AIRC, Fondazione Maratona Alzheimer, Fondazione Operation Smile Italia Onlus, Fondazione SportCity, La Stella di Lorenzo Onlus, Sport Senza Frontiere Onlus, Rotary International Distretto 2080 e Il Mondo di Matteo.

The Stracittadina Fun race – A long and colourful snake of more than 3000 people, in which the green of the official t-shirt was the most predominant colour. Many fathers, mothers, boys and children, on foot and with the stroller, and some dogs on a leach have run or jogged all united by their enthusiasm and their smiles: the Fun Race, related to the Run Rome the Marathon city race, returned this year after the virtual edition of 2021.

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