Angelo Carosi and Anna Carmela Incerti, respectively won the men’s and women’s categories of 20th Florence Marathon, which also incorporated the Italian Championships.
The course, which started from the Piazzale Michelangelo and went past the most characteristic monuments of this unique city, famous all over the world for its cultural heritage, was challenging, and as such the winning times of Carosi (2:15:54) and Incerti (2:34:40) were relatively slow.
The first half run in 1:06:43 saw the pacemaker Philemon Kimayo of Kenya leading a group of three italians Fabio Rinaldi, the defending Italian champion, Angelo Carosi the 1994 European silver medallist in the 3000 metres steeplechase, and Denis Curzi.
This first part of the race was considerably faster than the second, where the battle for the Italian title reached its climax, after Kimayo had dropped out.
“On the eve of the marathon I, Rinaldi, and Curzi agreed to keep a 1:05 pace in the first half in order to finish the race in 2:12-2:13, but in the second half what really mattered was the win, so the race became tactical. This explains why the pace was slowed in the second half,” explained Carosi.
At the 29 km Kimayo dropped out and three italians remained in the leading pack. Carosi launched a first attack in the 31 km but Curzi kept his pace. Rinaldi dropped back and retired 4 km later because of physical problems. From then on the race became a neck and neck battle between Carosi and Curzi, who repeatedly changed their positions at the lead of the race.
The race remained uncertain until the final metres. Carosi launched his first attack with 1 km to go but Curzi responded. It was only in the last 300 metres that Carosi pulled away to clinch his second Italian title after the one he won in 2001 in Carpi.
“I knew that a 2:12 - 2:13 race was within my reach, although I did not really expect to win today. This is the first step towards my seasonal goal to run two big marathons in the United States next year in my first year as a veteran (Boston and one to choose between New York and Chicago)”, said the 39-year-old Carosi.
The 24-year-old Anna Carmela Incerti from Bagheria (Sicily) won the women’s race which was totally dominated by Italian runners in her debut over the 42.195 km distance. Incerti crowned a successful season which saw her win the bronze medal in the 10,000 metres at the World Student Games in Daegu (South Korea) this summer.
After a first half marathon split run in 1:17:11, Incerti remained in contention with Patrizia Ritondo (another athlete from Sicily). At the 25 km (1:31:19) Ritondo pulled away but Incerti managed to respond. Incerti caught up with Ritondo at the 30 km (1:49:26) and launched her decisive attack at the 35 km point and built up a lead of about 20 seconds over her rival. This lead rose to one minute and at this stage Incerti was almost sure to clinch the victory. Incerti crossed the line in 2:34:40. Runner-up was Ritondo in 2:35:53.
“I am delighted to win my first ever marathon. This victory helps me to look to the future with confidence and plan my next marathons”, said Incerti.
Selected results from the 20th edition of the Florence marathon:
1 Angelo Carosi (Italy) 2:15:54
2 Denis Curzi (Italy) 2:15:55
3 Antonello Petrei (Italy) 2:18:29
1 Anna Incerti (Italy) 2:34:40
2 Patrizia Ritondo (Italy) 2:35:53
3 Tiziana Alagia (Italy) 2:40:23