|Course records||Men's: 2:08:13 (2009)|
Women's: 2:23:37 (2011)
|Official site||Venice Marathon|
The Venice Marathon (Italian: Maratona di Venezia) (stylized as Venicemarathon) is a marathon road race that has been held each year in Venice since 1986, usually in October. The course starts in Stra and passes through Mestre, Parco San Giuliano, and Ponte della Libertà before ending at Riva dei Sette Martiri in Venice. The marathon is categorized as a Bronze Label Road Race by World Athletics.
The race had previously been sponsored by Casino di Venezia (Venice Casino), and was known as the Casino di Venezia Venice Marathon at the time.
In 2017, the six leading runners lost about two minutes after mistakenly following a lead motorcycle for several hundred meters off the course about 25 km (16 mi) into the race. Race co-founder Enrico Jacomini explained that the lead vehicles had split off from the course as planned before it entered Venice, as it always does, since "Venice is not a city for cars or motorcycles". Local runner Eyob Ghebrehiwet Faniel ended up winning the race by roughly two minutes, becoming the first Italian to win the marathon in 22 years.[a]
In 2018, the high tide resulted in runners having to run through ankle-deep water, and forced organizers to drop Piazza San Marco from the course. Strong winds and heavy rain only exacerbated the conditions.
In 2020, due to the coronavirus pandemic, organizers restricted the number of participants to three: a female ultramarathon champion, a male runner on the Venicemarathon Running Team, and a Paralympic champion. All other registrants were automatically transferred to a virtual edition of the race, and given the option of transferring their entry to 2021 or 2022.
The first part of the course roughly follows the river eastward through Fiesso d'Artico, Dolo, Mira Porte, Oriago, and Malcontenta, before splitting off to the northeast to arrive at Marghera for the halfway point.
The marathon next heads into Mestre, where it turns southeast to Parco San Giuliano, wandering inside the park for about 2 km (1.2 mi) before crossing Ponte della Libertà, a bridge nearly 4 km (2.5 mi) long that connects the Venetian islands to the mainland.
After leaving the bridge, the course heads toward the southern edge of the main island before running east along the Giudecca Canal and then crossing the Grand Canal at Punta della Dogana on a temporary pontoon bridge built specifically for the marathon. Runners then make a small loop in Piazza San Marco, as long as the high tide permits,[b] before continuing east along San Marco basin to finish at Riva dei Sette Martiri.
As the course runs over many small canals during the last few kilometers in Venice, wooden ramps are constructed over the small bridges to prevent runners from running on the bridge steps.
A 10K[c] covering the last segment of the marathon, from when the course leaves Parco San Giuliano (shortly before crossing Ponte della Libertà) to when the course finishes at Riva dei Sette Martiri, is held on the same day as the marathon. There are also a series of family runs, all roughly 4 km (2.5 mi) in length, that take place during the weeks before the marathon.
Since 2000, East African runners have dominated the elite races. The course records are both held by Kenyans: John Komen holds the men's record of 2:08:13 while Helena Kirop is the women's holder with 2:23:37.
Key: Course record
- Faniel mentioned "ha[ving] to run alone on the Ponte della Libertà" as a reason why it was not an easy win for him.
- The high tide in Venice may result in the course being rerouted, as was done in the 2018 edition of the race.
- The race is marketed as a 10K, but is actually about 10.7 km (6.6 mi) in length.
- Sampaolo, Diego (2010-10-24). Kenya and Ethiopia share honours in Venice Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2010-10-24.
- "Venicemarathon -42K". Archived from the original on 2020-09-03.
- "Venicemarathon - History". Archived from the original on 2020-09-03.
- Civai, Franco (2009-10-26). Venice Marathon. Association of Road Running Statisticians. Retrieved on 2010-01-31.
- Sampaolo, Diego (2013-10-27). Machichim and Kibarus take the honours at Venice Marathon. IAAF. Retrieved on 2013-10-28.