by Brett Larner
photos by Mika Tokairin
elite race video by Alberto Stretti
running video by Brett Larner
For the third straight year JRN was on-hand to cover the Venice Marathon, this year helping to host Courir Magazine editor-in-chief Yukiya Higuchi who ran the race for a feature article in the November issue of Courir. After several days of rain the entire race weekend saw excellent conditions on the cool side with sunny skies at the start outside Villa Pisani on the banks of the Brenta in Stra.
The excellent weather was conducive to good times in the elite races, where Kenyan Helen Kirop took nearly four minutes off the Venice record with an outstanding 2:23:37 and Ethiopian Tadese Tolosa Aredo led three men under 2:10 with a 2:09:13 win. Defending champions Harun Makda Haji (Ethiopia) and Simon Mukun (Kenya) both finished 2nd.
At last year's 25th anniversary race the Venice city council had for the first time granted permission for the race course to pass through Venice's most famous landmark, the Piazza San Marco. Unexpectedly high water forced organizers to use a backup course which bypassed the piazza, leading the council to grant permission again this year to make it up to all those who came last year in the expectation of being the first to run San Marco. Nature cooperated, and this year's marathoners were rewarded with a scenic dogleg through the crowded square with just over 1 km to go. JRN's Brett Larner ran the marathon with a video camera to capture the fourteen bridges in the last 3.5 km and the first-ever running of the Piazza San Marco segment.
The course proved very popular with both runners and spectators, with tourists adding to the cheering crowds. It wouldn't be surprising to see the San Marco course become a regular feature, an essential attraction of the Venice Marathon even if the 7000 available places already sell out six months in advance. JRN's Mika Tokairin focused on photos in and around the Piazza San Marco. Click any photo to enlarge.
(c) 2011 Brett Larner
photos (c) 2011 Mika Tokairin
all rights reserved