More elite athletes have signed-up for the IAAF Rome Millennium Marathon, the first sporting event of the twenty-first century, that will start from one of the world’s most famous places, St Peter’s Square, at 12.30 p.m. on 1 January.
Italy’s Giacomo Leone and the Kenyan athletes Josephat Kiprono, Philip Tanui and Sammy Korir, in the men’s field and superstar Tegla Loroupe for the women are to be joined by Moges Taye (ETH), Salaho Ngadi (TAN) and female athletes Jacqueline Jerotich (KEN) and Gadisse Edato (ETH).
Moges Tayo has a personal best of 2:09:21 from his 1998 of the Vienna Marathon. He was also the winner of the inaugural edition of the Rome Marathon, in 1996, with 2:12:02.
Tanzania’s Ngadi, on the other hand, has a personal record of 2:13:38, but one should not be misled by this time: the athlete is barely 20 and achieved this time at his first outing over the distance, last October, at the Venice marathon, where he was a tenth-place finisher.
Ethiopia’s Gadisse Edato also set her personal best in Venice last October, with 2:29:57, whereas Jerotich has a best time of 2:34:29 from the Carpi marathon.
It is from Carpi, the home of one of history’s most celebrated marathon runners – Italy’s Dorando Pietri – that the Cup of Queen Alexandra of England will be transferred to Rome and placed on show from Monday 6 December.
The Cup was given to Pietri, as a form of consolation prize after his unfortunate marathon at the 1908 Olympic Games. Queen Alexandra wanted to give him some compensation for being disqualified shortly after being named Olympic champion. The title was taken from Pietri and given to the American John Hayes, after Pietri, who had fallen just a few metres from the finish line, was helped to his feet by race officials. Two years earlier, Pietri, then barely twenty years old, had been obliged to drop out from the "Intercalated Games" of Athens 1906 marathon at the 24 kilometre mark , after suffering stomach pains whilst heading the field.
The arrival of the Queen Alexandra Cup will be marked by a celebration in honour of Dorando Pietri, which will be held at noon on Monday 6 December, in the CONI honour suite (Salone d’Onore). The reception will be attended by the President of the Italian Olympic Committee, Gianni Petrucci and the British Ambassador at Rome, His Excellency Tom Richardson.