Rai Italian Television, the 16th Edition of the Rome marathon will see more than 15 thousand runners at the starting line. This year the 15346 participants from 83 countries will celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome where Ethiopian legend Abebe Bikila, running bare-footed, won the Marathon.
Among the participants, 8834 are Italian and 6512 are foreign. 12674 are men and 2672 women. Rome (including the province) is the city with the highest number of athletes at the start, 2320, as well as Lazio, with 2778 members is the most representative. The second city by number of runners is Naples with 287, while Lombardy remains the second region with 785 participants. Abroad, for the second consecutive year, the French are the most represented, with 1297 members, almost 200 more than in 2009.
Moreover, this year there is a slight decline for the U.S. runners (462), Germans are stable (966), while we noticed a sharp increase over previous editions, for Dutch (287), Belgium (271), Russians (37), Czechs (33), Romanians (34), Greek (70), Finnish (213), Danish (138), Helvetian (153), Japanese (67), Israel (50), Argentineans (23), Brazilians (73), Slovenians (56) and Croats (78).
This year 36 charities organizations are involved in the project for fund-raising. The Tottenham football club has already won the solidarity championship by sending 25 runners participating in the Rome Marathon to raise funds in support of the “Round Table Children's Wish'', a British charity which supports children aged 3 to 17 years terminally ill, helping them to make a wish.
Finally more than 85,000 runners are expected to take part in the mass 4 km Roma-Fun race which will be set from the worldwide Via dei Fori Imperiali.
On Saturday the 15346 participants can pick up the bib of the race at the Marathon Village Palazzo dei Congressi. The marathon village will be the biggest sporting expo in Italy this year, and will be an opportunity for all runners not only to not to receive the kit race but also to offer fans an exposure full of concerts, shows and entertainment.
At the end of the event, the runners could get the medal which is signed by the famous sculptor Alfiero Nena. The press release of the event said that "the artist takes an epic of Bikila and reinterprets. The Ethiopian and imposing runner is transformed by Nena. Long hair and European features. But bare feet and 11 on his chest. He is the runner of the World, is black and white together, and amateur champion. This is the message Abebe innervating the passion of thousands of marathoners. The traditional slogan, "we win any discrimination" has a meaning all new and old: we are all part of the same community".
On Sunday March 21 2010, every 15346 runner can “start his or her dream”, as indicated by the slogan of the event.