Running in sunny and warm conditions, Aniko Kalovics from Hungary and Joseph Lomala from Kenya took the honours at the 23rd edition of the Venice Marathon.
Former European cross country bronze medallist Kalovics, who ran her fifth Marathon, overcame some problems after 20 km to catch up to Anne Kosgei at 39 km. The Hungarian dropped Kosgei and took the win in 2:31:24. Kosgei finished second for the third time in her career in the popular Venice race after placing runner-up in 2002 and 2007. Kosgei, who ran her PB of 2:28:27 in 2007, clocked 2:32.21. Third was Kenyan Florence Chepkurui in 2:35:09.
Lomala, third in this year’s Turin Marathon, won a very close battle against Jacob Chesire from Kenya by just one second in 2:11:06 to 2:11:07. Abdi Kidane Gemechu from Ethiopia finished third in 2:11:57.
Women’s race –
In the first part of the women’s race Kalovics took the lead with Kosgei. Both runners passed 15 km in 52:36. Kosgei was in the lead passing halfway in 1:14:15, one second faster than Kalovics.
The Hungarian star felt tired and was dropped by Kosgei by 17 seconds at the 30 km mark (1:46:10 to 1:46:27). Kalovics closed the gap and managed to catch up with the fading Kosgei who was overhauled at 39 km. The Kenyan could not respond to Kalovics who went on to take the fourth marathon victory of her career in five races in 2:31:24, after victories in Carpi 2006 and 2007, Turin 2007 and a third place in 2008.
“I decided to slow down in the second half of the race because I was tired, said Kalovics. “When I saw that Kosgei was not too far I found the strength to recover and beat her.”
Men’s race –
12 men made up the leading group who passed the 15 km in 45:52. It included Kenyan pacemaker Elisha Tarus Meli, Jacob Chesire, 2:08:11 runner Wodajo Kure Teferi, Gilbert Kibiwott Rotich, Abdi Kidane Gemechu, 2004 Venice Marathon winner Raymond Kipkoech, former Stramilano Half-Marathon winner Paul Kimaiyo Kimugul, Joseph Lomala, Daniel Limo and Nickodemus Biwott. They continued to keep a sub-2:10 pace but after reaching the halfway mark in 1:04:59, they slowed down the rhythm.
Chesire and Rotich went to the front at 30 km in a five-men group which was also made up of Kimugul, Gemechu and Lomala. They passed the 30 km in 1:32:35.
Chesire tried to launch a first attack at 35 km on the challenging Ponte della Libertà (Freedom Bridge) which links Mestre to Venice where the battle for the final win traditionally reaches its climax.
At 38 km with the fabled city as the backdrop, the race for victory was between Lomala and Chesire who engaged an emotional neck-and-neck battle across the bridges which make Venice so famous around the world. With 4 km to go Lomala managed to catch up with Chesire, who made his debut in the marathon in Venice. Chesire tried to launch two attacks but Lomala managed to respond to both.
The race remained wide open until the end. Just a few metres before the finish line Lomala held off Chesire to take a very narrow win by one second in 2:11:06.
Lomala was born in Nandi and trains in Iten under the guidance of Italian coach Gabriele Nicola. He finished third in the Turin Marathon with his PB 2:10:22. He trains with runner-up Chesire, who is the brother of last year’s Venice Marathon winner Lenah Cheruiyot who set the women’s course race record of 2:27:02 in 2007.
“I am very happy because I have trained for this race for five months,” said Lomala. “I suffered from some problems after finishing second in 1:02:58 at the Turin Half-Marathon.”
Diego Sampaolo for the IAAF
1. Joseph Kimosop Lomala (Kenya) 2:11:06
2. Jacob Chesire (Kenya) 2:11:07
3. Kidane Gemechu Abdi (Ethiopia) 2:11:57
4. Wodajo Kure Teferi (Ethiopia) 2:14:21
5. Paul Kimayo Kimugul (Kenya) 2:14:51
6. William Biama (Kenya) 2:15:55
7. Nickodemus Biwott (Kenya) 2:16:27
8. Federico Simionato (Italy) 2:18:05
1. Aniko Kalovics (Hungary) 2:31:24
2. Anne Kosgei (Kenya) 2:32:21
3. Florence Chepkurui (Kenya) 2:35:09
These news were announced by the Organizing Committee of the most beautiful Italian Marathon at the press conference to introduce the 23rd Venicemarathon, which was held at the Russott Hotel Venezia San Giuliano with the presence of the A.S.D. Venicemarathon Club President Enrico Jacomini, the Honorary President Piero Rosa Salva, the General Secretary Lorenzo Cortesi and Mr. Michele Mognato, Mr. Sandro Simionato, Ms. Anna Maria Giannuzzi Miraglia, Mr. Augusto Salvadori: all members of the Venice City Council and Mr. Renzo De Antonia President of the Venice Committee of CONI.
Thanks to the campaign carried out with solidarity sms of 1 Euro, welcomed by all mobile phone companies (TIM, TELECOM, WIND and VODAFONE) and supported by the most part of the marathoners who took part at the Venicemarathon Trofeo Casinò di Venezia 2007 41,148 Euros were collected. The donation includes also part of the registration fees at the two Family Runs, collateral events of the marathon open to families, and the contribution that the Civil Defense Group wanted to devolve to this project. The funds collected have been used for digging three wells near Moroto High School, Moroto Parents Standard Academy and Nakaplimen.
Besides the sending of sms and the registration fees at the family races, in 2008 athletes will also have the possibility to support the project at the registration moment by donating a free offer. Finally at the “African Village” created in Parco San Giuliano and at the special points prepared along the race course, runners, visitors and spectators who offer their donation will get the official Radio DeeJay – Venicemarathon T-shirt designed for the event.
Venicemarathon welcomed this project of solidarity in 2006 to move even ideally Venice - a town rich in water – closer to one of the aridest regions in the world. The testimonial of the project is the marathoner from Abruzzi of the Sports Team G.S. Carabinieri Alberico Di Cecco: ”This project is close to my heart as I know the seriousness and the professionalism both of Africa Mission and of the Organizing Committee of Venicemarathon and I really appreciate the link between Venice, which sometimes has to face hardships due to too much water and Uganda where people are dying of thirst. I think that, like in a marathon, a small sacrifice as a donation could bring great satisfactions, like the knowledge that you’ve given the smile and the life to somebody”.
In addition to the project “Run for Water, Run for Life”, the collaboration with the Office of the Elimination of the Architectural Barriers of the Venice City Council will be proposed again. This collaboration has allowed in these years to extend the stay of the ramps placed on the 13 bridges of the venetian race course. Last year they remained available until Carnival, making the town practicable not only for the race day.
Meanwhile the organization of the 23rd Venicemarathon scheduled on 26th October is going on! The registrations are over 2,000 and this number represents a 30% more than the number of the registrations had last year at the same period showing a positive increasing of the foreign participation. This important result has been reached thanks to the project “Veneto. Run between earth and sky”, too. This initiative promoted by Veneto Region has led Venicemarathon (together with the Marathon of S. Antony of Padua and the Treviso Marathon) to the most important exhibitions in the world: like New York, London, Paris, Rotterdam, Madrid, Stockholm and Rome.
An important novelty will be the Convention “Tax and Sport”, which will be held in the days before the race and which will be addressed to all people, organizations and sports societies which have to deal with many and complicated fiscal rules every day.
The collateral events of the past years have all been confirmed: Exposport – Fair of Sport and of Leisure time – will be held at Parco San Giuliano in Mestre from Thursday 23rd October. Beside Exposport the Parco San Giuliano, center of Venicemarathon events, will host Open Sport, 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, families and students can take part to the usual appointment with the two Family Runs, sponsored by OVIESSE and BANCO SAN MARCO, which will be organized at the same time one inside Parco San Giuliano in Mestre and the other one in Dolo.
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 Sector No Limits 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.
My 1st Marathon is a program which began last 7th July and will allow beginners to be assisted in preparing and training for the first marathon by Julia Jones, who will fill in the training schedules and constantly assist athletes during the last months before the race.
As for the commercial aspect the entrance of new National and International partners shows that the event has a good appeal even in this period of unfavorable economic situation.
ASICS is the new technical sponsor, which will be part of Venicemarathon till 2010, year of the 25th Anniversary of the marathon.
POWERADE PRO, the Sports Drink of the Coca-Cola Company will be a new sponsor and official supplier of Venicemarathon for the next three years and will refresh all marathoners along the course and at the final refreshment station of the marathon.
Among the official suppliers SECTOR NO LIMITS, YAKULT and PINO SILVESTRE will support Venicemarathon for the first time.
The significant collaboration established in the last years with other important companies has been confirmed: CASINO’ DI VENEZIA, BANCO SAN MARCO, GROUPAMA, OVIESSE, INSULA, GRUPPO VERITAS, SAN BENEDETTO, GRUPPO ACTV, SOCIETA’ AUTOSTRADE VENEZIA-PADOVA, COLDIRETTI, RUSSOTT HOTEL. Finally RADIO DEE JAY will be also for this edition the Venicemarathon official radio.
This is how the "Run for Water, Run for Life" project was born, in collaboration with Africa Mission - Cooperation and Development. . For more than thirty years they've worked in Africa raising funds for digging wells in the impoverished Ugandan region of Karamoja.
The project started in 2006 when more than 15.000 euro in funds were collected and wholly used for the digging of a well "entitled" to Venicemarathon and friends. In 2007 the amount of funds collected increased and that money is now being used for digging more wells.
To participate in the production of this small yet great act of solidarity is easy: in the days preceding the 23° Venicemarathon Trofeo Casinò di Venezia, an SMS solidarity number will be activated as we've done in the previous years, which will give you the possibility to donate 1 euro to the project. It's also possible to make your donation upon registration for the Venicemarathon.
Venicemarathon is also trying to involve school aged children in the solidarity initiatives: part of the earnings from the two Family Runs (the non competitive races reserved for school aged children and their families which is held the day before the marathon in the San Giuliano Park and in
Dolo) will be given in charity to the Africa Mission.
Lastly, during the opening of Exposport it will be possible to find Africa Mission in the "African village" set up in the Sports Fair, the Marathon's general headquarters.