Komen, Kosgei and Zanardi are the Venicemarathon winners
From several points of view, the 24th Venicemarathon, that was held on October 25 from Stra to Venice, was an extraordinary edition. On a warm day, Kenyan John Komen set a new race record in 2h08’13" (preceding record: Makori 2h08’49" in 2002, while Anne Kosgei broke the spell and finally won the race in 2h27’46" after three second places in different editions. Former Formula One driver Alex Zanardi obtained his first career victory in the hand-bike competition and almost 6,500 runners gathered in front of Villa Pisani at the marathon start. The only negative note was the disappointing 8th place by Giovanna Volpato, the local runner who was in search of a better performance. The competition, that saw for the first time an anticipated start of the élite female athletes, became very exciting in the last few miles, as often happens. Komen, that until 35th kilometer stayed well hidden in the leading group, took command of the race at the end of Ponte della Libertà where he started a strong progression despite the difficulty of the 14 bridges in the final 3 kilometers. Behind him finished the compatriots Paul Samoei (with a new personal best of 2h10’09") and Benson Cherono in 2h10’19". Komen, a former soccer player who entered the marathon world only last year, had already made clear during the pre-race press conference that he was in great shape and running for a victory. One of the favorites, Oleksandr Kuzin from Ukraine, finished 4th while while the first Italian to cross the finish line was Pasquale Rutigliano in 2h20’18". The female race was a fight between Kenya and Ethiopia, with Kosgei on one side and Yal Koren and Haji Makda on the other. The three stayed together until Parco San Giuliano (30th km), then the Kenyan attacked to avoid the risk of spoiling another victory on the Venetian course. Koren arrived second at the finish line with a delay of 55" (2h28’41”) while Alena Samokhvalova managed to finalize her pursuit of the leading group by surpassing in the last kilometers other Ethiopian Makda and almost reaching Koren as well: her final time was 2h28’47". Giovanna Volpato couldn’t do better than 2h32’12", time was valid for the 8th place. "I don’t know what happened and I’m still thinking about it. Marathon should be like math: if you are in shape, as I was, the calculations should be exact. But today something, unfortunately, went wrong”. Alex Zanardi – the testimonial for the Bimbingamba project, a charity supported by the Venicemarahon - put some icing on the cake while winning the hand-bike competition in1h13’56". "I really believed in my chances of victory! I cannot say that I was sure of winning, but I really hoped so. I made a mistake on a turn in Parco San Giuliano and went out of the track, then I had problems with the chain of my hand-bike, but I didn’t quit and I kept pushing even more until the finish line”. Behind Zanardi, Mauro Cattai was second (1h14’54”) and Christian Summit third (1h30’06”).
Registration closed!

The participant cap of 6.000 entries has been reached and therefore open registration has closed.

A limited amount of official charity entries is still available. Charity entry is available only online with payment by credit card.

Some official agents still have a few bibs available, so please try to contact them if you are residing outside Italy.

Venicemarathon, Zanardi and Pistorius support charity with 500 special bibs

Bimbingamba is a charity project created by Alex Zanardi, the former Formula 1 and Formula CART pilot, and Sergio Campo, the founder members of the Association Niccolò Campo, which aims to supply disabled children with prosthesis after road accidents, diseases or wars.

In agreement with the testimonials: Alex Zanardi and Oscar Pistorius, Venicemarathon has decided to make available 500 special bib numbers, in addition to the 6,000 ones usually available for the participation in the Venicemarathon.

These race numbers will cost € 20,00 more than the current entry fees and the surplus will be given to the charity Association: Bimbingamba. They will be special bib numbers in all senses, in fact they will be graphically different from the others and autographed by Alex Zanardi and Oscar Pistorius, too.

The Bimbingamba race numbers will allow you to start from the second “starting corral”, even though your personal best time is different from the allowed one. Besides you will receive a special gadget, along with the others of the race bag.

More over during the registration process it will be possible to make an additional donation.

The participant cap of 6,000 runners is going to be reached, so the purchase of a Bimbingamba bib number means to assure you a place at the starting line of one of the most charming marathons in the world and tangibly contribute to an important social project at the same time.

The Bimbingamba bib numbers will be available only online, just because of our need to constantly control the number of registrations and close them at the reaching of the inflexible participant cap of 500 runners.

Oscar Pistorius and Alex Zanardi start the final sprint to the 24th Venicemarathon

Oscar Pistorius and Alex Zanardi start the final sprint to the 24th Venicemarathon Trofeo Casinò di Venezia that will take place on 25th October. The Paralympic multichampion in 100, 200 and 400 meters and the famous Formula 1 and Formula Cart pilot, who is now the protagonist of a lot of hand bike races, met this morning in the polished rooms of the Casinò of Venice together with the mayor of Venice Massimo Cacciari, the president of Venicemarathon Club Enrico Jacomini, the executive chief of the Casinò of Venice as well as the master of the house Carlo Pagan, the president of the Committee of Venice of CONI Renzo De Antonia and the town councilor of the Public Works Mara Rumiz, to introduce the 24th edition of Venicemarathon and all its social and supportive projects.

Alex Zanardi will start the 24th Venicemarathon like one of the favorite hand bikers, while Oscar Pistorius will delight in running the Family Run, a 4km non competitive race open to families and that takes place the day before the marathon. Both athletes will be in Venice to support the project "Accessible Venice – the barriers are overcome by running”, too. This initiative promoted by the Council of Venice and realized thanks to the sensibility of the organizing committee of Venicemarathon provides the extension of the period in which the wooden ramps on the 13 bridges along the marathon course remain available in order to make easier the visit and the accessibility of the city for the disabled people.

"I'm very honored to be the testimonial of this important project - the South African champion said - and this year I'm going to be more active taking part in the Family Run in San Giuliano's Park. After the World Championship of Berlin, it could be a very worrying race!"

Also Alex is strongly involved in the promotion of the project regarding the increase of the accessibility of Venice: "I would like to help to publicize more and more this great initiative that makes Venice accessible to people on wheelchair or anyone who has difficulties in overcoming the bridges and the architectural barriers of this city. This kind of people usually avoid getting out of their house, because they are afraid of the difficulties. For this reason I 'll take part in Venicemarathon and I'll try to run the hand bike race in my best way".

"Venicemarathon and all sports in general should be accessible to everyone and Oscar and Alex are helping us in extending this message to the public" - the President of the Venicemarathon Club Enrico Jacomini pointed out.

Other two social projects will interest the marathon of Venice. The first one is Bimbingamba, a project of the Association Niccolò Campo to supply disabled children with prosthesis after road accidents, diseases or wars. Alex is the testimonial of this initiative and has decided to use his acquaintance and experience acquired after the awful accident in 2001 during a car race in the circuit of Lausitzring that caused the amputation of his both legs, to speed up the waiting time, in order to supply prosthesis and give a new normal life to these children as soon as possible.

Moreover, Venicemarathon increases its commitment in "Run for Water, Run for Life", the project managed by Africa Mission - Cooperazione e Sviluppo to raise funds for digging wells in Uganda.

Thanks to the wide fund-raising realized in 2008, 35,157.50 Euros have been earmarked for the digging of two wells which, along with the others built in 2006 and 2007 for a total of six wells, will satisfy the needs of drinking water of the students of two secondary schools in the Moroto district and of the inhabitants of the shanty town Nakapelimen, for a total of 4,000 people.

This fund-raising for Uganda was born in 2006 and the campaign was carried out only with solidarity SMS, but since 2007 the donation has included also part of the registration fees at the two Family Runs, the non-competitive races open to families which take places every year on the Saturday before the marathon in Mestre inside San Giuliano's Park and in Dolo too, and the contribution of the Civil Defense Groups.

Since last year other initiatives have joined this project: the possibility for athletes to donate a free offer at the registration moment, the donation of the association "Ancient Dragons" and "Best Day for Bikers" (dedicate to the phisically disabled bikers in Marghera), the sale of handmade products of Cooperazione and Sviluppo and the sale of 7,000 technical t-shirts realized by Venicemarathon Club and Radio Deejay, that corresponds to a third of the total amount collected.

In these days the Organizing Committee is organizing the 2009 raising-fund campaign through the solidarity SMS, with the cooperation of the four most important mobile companies (TIM, Vodafone, Wind and 3) and Telecom Italia, in order to continue in helping Ugandan people, together with the donations offer by the marathoners.

As Lorenzo Cortesi, the managing director of Venicemarathon, illustrated, an incredible increase of inscriptions has been registered some months before the event. "More than 4,000 bib numbers have been already assigned, probably because athletes know that we have been obliged to fix the cap at 6,000 runners, due to Venetian logistic necessities. It's the first time in the Venicemarathon history that in July the 70% of the places available has been sold!"

This important result has been surely reached thanks to the project "Veneto - Run between earth and sky", too, an initiative supported by Veneto Region and realized by Venicemarathon together with the Marathon of St. Anthony of Padua and the Treviso Marathon, which aims to promote the sports tourism in this area.

A research commissioned by the Venicemarathon Club to a specialized agency has spotlighted that the 63,3% of foreign participants choose Venicemarathon because of its possibility to match sport and tourism together, while the 71% of the athletes resident outside Italy declares that their participation to this race has been a reason to visit the city of Venice for their first time. In economic terms, the research has also highlighted that Venicemarathon has enriched the territory with 8 millions of Euros each year, with an increase of 30% during the last seven years and a great promotion of the event and of its territory thanks to over than 1,000 articles in national and international news media, 3 hours of live broadcast on RAI in 29 Countries and an important share. The Riviera of Brenta, Mestre, Venice and their neighboring cities host every year over than 6,000 athletes together with their families and friends with a percentage of 30% of foreign people. Moreover, about 2,000 of operators and suppliers of the race, of Exposport and all the collateral events should be added.

In this days the Venicemarathon annual appointment with My 1st Marathon is starting. The program, which has been developed and is managed by Julia Jones will bring you to the finish line of the Venicemarathon with a smile on your face. This unique training program is based on four training sessions per week, and gives you the chance of direct support through e-mail.

The collateral events of the past years have all been confirmed: Exposport - Fair of Sport and of Leisure time - will be held in San Giuliano's Park in Mestre from Thursday 22nd October. Besides Exposport the San Giuliano's Park, center of Venicemarathon events, will host Open Sport, an initiative organized with the collaboration of the CONI Committee of Venice which will give the possibility to children and kids to test the different sports activities.

On the Saturday before the marathon, the appointment with the two Family Runs, one in Dolo and the other one inside the San Giuliano’s Park, is confirmed too. In 2008 these races, sponsored also this year by Oviesse and Banco San Marco, have drawn over than 10,000 kids and children.

As far as the technical aspect of the race is concerned, in the next edition marathoners will have the chance to count on the support of the SUUNTO Pace Maker Team - groups of pacers carrying colored balloons who will assist athletes in finishing the race in a specified time. Runners who follow the pacers will achieve their chronometric goal with a maximum difference of few seconds.

As for the commercial aspect the confirmation of the last year main partners shows that the event has a good appeal even in this period of unfavorable economic situation. In fact the technical sponsor ASICS will be part of Venicemarathon till 2010, year of the 25th Anniversary of the marathon. Also Powerade, the Sports Drink of the Coca-Cola Company, confirms its presence and it will refresh all marathoners along the course and at the final refreshment station of the marathon, together with Yakult, the probiotic drink that keeps the intestine healthy.

The significant collaboration established in the last years with other important companies has been confirmed: Banco San Marco, Groupama, Oviesse, Insula, Gruppo Veritas, San Benedetto, ACTV, Vela, Coldiretti, Palmisano and Russott Hotel, while the important collaboration with Casinò di Venezia is under renewal.

Finally Radio Deejay will be also for this edition the Venicemarathon official radio.

Among the suppliers, Suunto, Alpro Soya and Mentos (a Perfetti Van Melle brand) will support Venicemarathon for the first time.

This event has already received the patronage of Veneto Region, Province of Venice, Council of Venice, Council of Stra, Council of Fiesso d'Artico, Council of Dolo, Council of Mira, Department for Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs, Venezi@opportunità, Port Authority of Venice, Venice APT, Vigili del Fuoco, IAAF, CONI, FIDAL, AIMS, Maratone Italiane and from this year the special patronage of CIP (the Italian Paralympic Committee), thanks to the great interest shown by Venicemarathon in the elimination of the architectural barriers of Venice, supported by Oscar Pistorius and Alex Zanardi, both of them testimonials of the event.

In these days the online sale of the Venicemarathon official merchandising has started on www.venicemarathon.it. It's possible to buy technical and leisure time products designed by Asics and Venicemarathon.

On 25th October Venicemarathon will celebrate its 24th birthday, but this will be only the first stage to the great celebration of the 25th Anniversary in 2010.

Registrations take off

The 24th Venicemarathon Trofeo Casinò di Venezia doesn’t seem to feel the crisis! It has registered an incredible increase of registrations even six months before the event. In fact over 2,500 athletes registered at the Venicemarathon within 10th April, the first Italian registration deadline, just to be sure to have a place to run the marathon on Sunday, October 25.

“A small record has been beaten – states the Organizing Committee – it is the first year that in April the number of participants has reached this amount. Due to Venetian logistic necessities we have been obliged to fix the cap at 6,000 runners and we realize that athletes are beginning to plan their participation to the Venicemarathon in advance than last years. In fact we are beating any expectation with more than 1,000 additional entries at the same 2008 date!”

This increase of the Italian and the foreign participation has been possible thanks to the promotional campaign that we are carrying on and also thanks to the project “Marathon – The Tourism comes to Veneto to run” which we are supporting together with the Treviso Marathon and the Maratona S. Antonio under the aegis of the Veneto Region.

On Sunday, October 25, Venicemarathon will be run also to contribute to the protection and the conservation of the architectural Heritage of Venice. This is possible thanks to the project called S.M.S. (Saint Mark’s Square) Venice, born in 2008 from the union of the purposes of the Municipality of Venice, the Environment and Architectural Heritage Society of Venice and its lagoon and Fran Tomasi & C.

In fact this year the Onlus S.M.S. Venice will be supported by Venicemarathon that will be at the disposal of this association to promote the repairs and the protection of some extraordinary works like: Ponte di Rialto, the Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and the Procuratie Nuove. For further information visit: www.smsvenice.com.

Venicemarathon entry available

Registration for the 24th Venicemarathon of October 25, 2009 started January 1st, 2009.

Online registration with credit card payment is available by clicking on the banner below.

If you prefer the good old-fashioned paper entry form (to be used together with bank wire payments) choose "registration" from the main menu and then "step by step registration".