Firenze Marathon, the presentation ceremony

For the fifth time the number of registered runners for the Asics Firenze Marathon is over 10000. There are exactly 10042 already registered. 2000 more participants will be added with the addition of the Ginky Family Run, the 2km mini race that will begin half an hour after the marathon begins.
There are exactly 8003 men and 2039 women already registered. There are 2812 foreigners of which 1973 are men and 839 are women. Registered Italians are 7230 of which there are 6030 men and 1200 women.
Among the foreign runners (over 80 nations are represented), the countries with the highest number of participants are, in this order, France with 793 registered, Great Britain with 330, Belgium with 202, Germany with 197, Morocco with 147, Austria with 140, and Spain with 135. Among the Italian regions, after Tuscany with 2028 registered comes Lombardy with 1147, Lazio with 801, Campania with 557 and Emilia Romagna with 548.
Now we wait to see how many will actually race. We expect the highest number of race finishers ever. The record took place in the 2013 edition with 9296 finishers. Last year we had 9497 registered, 8670 raced, and 8260 athletes successfully completed the marathon. The start (8:30am) and finish will be in piazza Duomo, with the race taking the form of a ring around the entire city of Florence, touching on the most famous monuments and historic artistic places. Along the course will be thirty musical acts chosen by event organizers who will compete in the Huawei Clap Contest, the energy wave, to give the athletes added encouragement and to excite the audience.

Here is the detailed program:
8:27 Start Time for Disable Athletes – Piazza Duomo
8:30 Start Time Marathon 42,195km – Piazza Duomo
9:00 Start Time Ginky Family Run 2km – Piazza della Repubblica
9:45 Arrival first Disabled Marathon competitors – Piazza Duomo
10:40 Arrival first Marathon competitors – Piazza Duomo
11:15 Official Award Ceremony – Piazza Duomo
14:45 Maximum time to conclude the race

Today the official countdown begins, with a ceremony taking place at the Fidal Toscana meeting room in the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium. Present among others is the Comune di Firenze’s Sports Minister Andrea Vanucci, the president of the Firenze Marathon Giancarlo Romiti, and president of the regional Fidal Committee Alessio Piscini. Fulvio Massini, technical director of the event presented the top runners.
Around 2500 volunteers will be present along the race route, with hundreds of pacemakers coordinated by Training Consultant. The week will be spotted with other race-related events as well taking place at the Marathon Expo, inside the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium near the Campo di Marte train station. The Expo is a huge event that will open its doors on Friday and Saturday prior to the race. It is open from 9:30 to 8:00 with free entry and will be attended by over 30 thousand visitors. The program includes interesting technical events that will be attractive to all runners. Entry is on Viale Malta 10.

TOP RUNNERS
This year’s edition can count on some runners who have beat their personal best in the past with exceptional race times. The best this year is Gilbert Kipruto KIRWA who was able to run the marathon in Frankfurt in 2009 with a time of 2h06’14”, who could win a prize this year. He hasn’t run any marathons this year but in the past was always a solid athlete with three arrivals around the 2h6’mark. Without a doubt another top runner is Kenyan Enry Kemo SUGUT who in 2012 beat his personal record in Vienna at 2h06’58”. He has won three times in Vienna.
Silas CHEBOIT in 2014 ran the marathon in 2h07’15”, although last year in Rome he didn’t beat 2h12’33”. Silah LIMO is another Kenyan with high results, with a good 2h08’54” as a personal best completed in 2015. He also had times of 2h20’22” at the Vienna marathon and 2h10’ just last year. Moses KEMEI will have to be a hare while we also expect great things from Moses MENGICH, eigth in Milan and Ukrainian Dnytri BARANIVSKYY. Watch out too for Kenyan Paul TIONGIK from Parco Alpi Apuane.
On the Italian front we see the distance debut for runner Ahmed MAZOURY, originally from Morocco but adopted from Lecce. We will also be watching Yassine EL FATHAOUI, Liberato PELLECCHIA and Dario ROGNONI. Pelecchia trains with professor Lucio Gigliotti and has a personal best time of 2h14’28” completed in Berlin in 2013, the same year as the world record of Wilson Kipsang with 2h03’23”. His last time at the Frankfurt marathon in October 2015 was 2h16’57”. Dario ROGNONI, from Milan, is 42 years old and ran his best marathon in Turin in 2011 finishing in 2h23’01”. He ran in Florence in 2013 (2h23’13”) and in 2015 (2h23’23”). Dario SANTORO won eighth place last year in Florence when he made his personal best time of 2h21’20”.
The women’s race sees some newcomers, among them the British Elinor KIRK who could run in under 2h40’and Kenyan Eulieter TANUI who runs the half in a quick 1h16’. 2h35’03” is the personal best for Kenyan Vila JELAGAT who could beat out Ethiopian Arissi Dire TUNE who is highly competitive with her 2h23’ personal best time and her extensive experience in the world of Athletics including the Beijing Olympics where she placed 15th. Her only problem is she hasn’t run a marathon since 2010, but Florence could be her return to the sport.
Italian flag bearer will be Maurizia CUNICO who was present in 2016 placing 7th, 2nd for the Italians.

REFERENCES
Last year the male winner was Ethiopian Teshome Shumi Yadete in 2:11’57” while the record for the race was Kenyan James Kutto who ran in 2:08’40” in 2006.
Last year the female winner was Kenyan Winny Jepkorir in 2:28’46”while the record for the race was Slovenian Helena Javornik who ran in 2:28’15” in 2002.

ALEX ZANARDI IS BACK
Back for the 9th edition is “MarathonAbile”, the race for disabled competitors with handbikes, commonly known as “tornadoes”. Organized by the Firenze Marathon and the Sporting Group Unity spinal Onlus of Florence together with the Comune di Firenze. The race will take place along the same route as the marathon, beginning at 8:27. This is part of a project called Objective 3, which seeks to make sporting activities available to disabled athletes of all kinds. The group of athletes will test themselves for the first time in an official race and they will have a stand at the Marathon Expo where new candidates can try out. The final objective is Tokyo 2020. In the days leading up to the race at the communal gym at via Lunga a Firenze, under the careful watch of the preparatory team, six athletes will try out: Rosina Danner (29 years old from Grosseto), Ana Maria Vitelaru (34 years old from Reggio Emilia), Francesca Giuliani (29 years old from Pescara), Diego Gastaldi (33 years old from Rome), Michela Piccolo (34 years old from Udine) and Chiara Nardo (43 years old from Padova). The athletes will be at the Marathon Expo stand on Friday and Saturday. During the morning and afternoon Objective 3 staff will be at the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium in the hopes of recruiting new athletes interested in the project and sustaining partners for the group’s initiative. As in Venice, there will be the chance to test out a handbike for a few meters on the stadium track.
Then Sunday is the race. Laura Bassi, Flavio Gaudiello and Andrea Offredi will be racing together with new entries Diego Gastaldi and Francesca Giuliani. Accompanying them will be the project’s founder Alex Zanardi (winner in Florence in 2011 with a record time of 1h12’8”), talent scout Giorgio Farroni and all to support the activities of Pier Alberto Buccoliero, canoeist from the Canottieri Comunali di Firenze.

OTHER EVENTS
Among the events in the days leading up to the marathon, during the Expo “The fastest, strongest and most resilient of Florence – CONAD Trophy” will take place on Friday, November 24 at the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium. The seventh edition of the athletic event that hosts young athletes from Florence’s schools in various athletic competitions. The event, subdivided in a morning and afternoon session, is organized by the Firenze Marathon and Firenze Marathon Atletica together with the Sports and Education Ministry and the Comune’s Sports Coni with the objective of promoting athletics among young people and creating a day to celebrate teaching sports. Young student athletes will be subdivided into age categories.
On Saturday, November 25 at 10:00 at the Asics Firenze Marathon Stadium is the 30x1000 meter Relay – Mauro Pieroni Trophy, which returns for its fifth edition. Those who wish to participate without a team will be assigned to an incomplete team. This is an opportunity to have fun and participate in a marathon event and release some tension before the big race. Registrations take place at the Firenze Marathon office at Viale Fanti 2 or at the Training Consultant office at Via F.G. Angelico 36/11 in Florence.
Marathon Mass will take place for its fifth consecutive year at the Church of Santa Maria Novella on Saturday, November 25 at 6:00pm. This year the high mass will be held by Monsignor Melchor Sanchez de Toca, undersecretary for Culture and Sport at the Vativan, marathon runner, and president of Atletica Vaticana, a team that will take part in the Firenze Marathon with four athletes. Free guided visits of the Basilica will be available from 4:00 – 5:30 pm for marathoners and their guests. Bring a race bib to participate.
The long marathon week will conclude with the Marathon Party involving music and shows on Sunday night with a typical Tuscan dinner at a special price and images from the race being shown on a big screen. The party takes place at ObiHall, just off the Milano-Roma highway, and will host over 700 people.

TECHNICAL DEMONSTRATIONS AT THE MARATHON EXPO
On Friday, November 24 at 6:00pm at the Central Stage: “Young people and the marathon” together with Fidal Toscana. Alessio Piscini, President of Fidal Toscana and Giancarlo Romiti, President of the Marathon Organizing Committ. Speakers: Stefano Baldini, Olympic gold medalist Athens 2004 and technical director for the Fidal youth sector, and Maurizio Cito, advisor for the under 25 project development. Moderator: Fulvio Massini, technical director of the Firenze Marathon.
Saturday, November 25 at 10:30am at the Central Stage: Round Table: “The correct posture for running” Moderator: Marco Marchei, Director, Runner’s World. Speakers: Luca Magni, President, FMSI Prato, Elena Paoli, Pilates expert; Vania Fontano, scientific director for the Rinaldi Fontani Institute; Giorgio Garello, Asics technical advisor; Stefano Baldini, Olympic gold medalist Athens 2004 and technical director for the Fidal youth sector; Fabrizio Angelini, President, Sinseb; Silvio Zuccarini, expert in postural problems.
Saturday, November 25 at 2:30pm at the Central Stage: Round table: “Cross Training” Moderator: Marco Marchei, Runner’s World Director. Speakers: Luca Magni, President FMSI Prato; Nicola Armentano, doctor for the Italian swimming Federation; Flavio Alessandri, Director Center of Sports Medicine of Florence; Giorgio Damilano, Olympian, Vincenzo Toscano, Osteopath.

MAIN TECHNICAL PARTNERS
Asics, main sponsor, provides technical gear for all 10000 registered, Ginky family run shirts, and suits for volunteers and staff.
Enervit handles refreshment including the Enervit red point at the 30th kilometer (including gel and medicine).
Conad handles refreshments for the marathon as well as refreshment for additional events like the “Strongest, fastest, and most resilient” race on Friday, the relay race on Saturday, and the Ginky family run on Sunday.
Huawei is the gold mobile sponsor, official sponsor of the musical contest, the relay race, and the Marathon Party.
AirFrance presents the Expo and the race Village in Piazza della Repubblica for sampling activities.
San Benedetto provides all water at all related events.
Toyota is the official automobile of the marathon.
Cetilar, Pharmanutra brand, will provide products for massages before and after the race.
Albatravel is the official travel agency of the Firenze Marathon.
All of these businesses will be present at the Marathon Expo. Technogym will also be present, and will present the new “My run” treadmill, perfect for training indoors.

Additionally the Italian Army represented by the Instituto Geografico Militare (IGM) will be present with its own stand at the Expo. Military personnel will be available to talk about their profession and the work of the Italian armed forces, and their open competitions for enrollment including the call for applicants to the Military Academy of Modena and for volunteers throughout the year.
It will be possible to learn about their work and visit a space dedicated to Military Pharmaceutical Chemicals.
During the Marathon award ceremony the Commander of the Military Geographical Institute, Division General Pietro Tornabene, with the Authority of the Committee of Honor, will give special thanks to the many military athletes participating in the event, exhibiting the close ties between the armed forces and sports and their shared values.

WEATHER
Race day weather is predicted to be without rain and with temperatures between 7.7 and 12 degrees celcius. (source: Meteo.it).

ALL THE INFO
All updates can be accessed in real time at www.firenzemarathon.it  or on social networks accessible via the official Facebook page.
The race can also be experienced in direct on Lady Radio from 8 – 12 on Sunday, November 26, with updates from the central studio and the streets of Florence including race statistics, audience reactions, running conditions, etc. Daily countdown broadcasts will continue, on air from 6:45, 9:45, 12:45, 15:45, 17:45, and 19:45. In Florence Lady Radio broadcasts across 102.1FM (92.2 in Valdisieve and 95.4 in Mugello), and can be heard online via a free app available for smartphone and tablet.
Rai will show portions of the race on RaiSport on race day while Toscana TV will dedicate two episodes of Runners to the Firenze Marathon.

Here is the official presentation gallery.

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