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Massimo Leonardi king of Unesco Cities

unesco cities marathon

Aquileia (Italy), march 31, 2014 – From Pertile to Leonardi. Unesco Cities Marathon looks like new (with more competitors, a large public), but it is still Italian. Massimo Leonardi is the new king of the marathon from Cividale del Friuli to Aquileia, in Friuli Venezia Giulia, in north-eastern Italy.

He stood out at 2h 20’38”, at the end of a strong race which frustrated the expectations of the favourite at the eve of the event, the Ugandan Simon Rugut Kipngetich, who was slowed down by a muscle problem after a high-pace beginning. At half distance (1h07’07”), Rugut Kipngetich still had 2’38” advantage over Leonardi. But the recovery of the athlete from Trento began shortly afterwards, in the neighbourhood of Palmanova, the third precious city along the Unesco cities course.

The overtaking took place at the 35th kilometre: Rugut Kipngetich started having problems, Leonardi passed him and could head as winner to the finishing line of his second marathon this year. Rugut Kipngetich finished, very far behind, in 2h25’00”. The second part of his race was a torture, he covered it in as much as 1h18’.

Russian Oxana Akimenkova won the women’s competition, finishing in 2h44’21” after a race constantly in the lead (half distance in 1h21’37”). She was followed by her fellow countrywoman Tatiana Belkina (2h48’06”), with Claudia Dardini coming just third (2h51’07”).

Among the over 400 people who completed the marathon, there was also scientist Mauro Ferrari, who arrived in Piazza Capitolo in 5h04’13”, 375°. “It has been really hard but I’ve made it. Up with beautiful Friuli Venezia Giulia and its people”, said Ferrari as soon as he crossed the finishing line.

On the whole, about 950 athletes completed one of the races. It has been a great organizational success, with a large public. The event has been followed also by Ruggero Pertile, the Italian champion who, last year, inaugurated Unesco Cities Marathon prize record.

The whole territory, from Cividale to Aquileia, to Palmanova, and the other eight municipalities crossed by the course, greeted the marathon with surprising enthusiasm. It was meant to be a 42 kilometres-long celebration, and a celebration it was.

Place lists. MEN: 1. Massimo Leonardi (Gs Valsugana Trentino) 2h20’38”, 2. Simon Rugut Kipngetich (Uga) 2h25’00”, 3. Giovanni Bressan (Atl. Aviano) 2h35’16”, 4. Saverio Giardiello (Montemiletto Team Runners) 2h27’33”, 5. Francesco Tamigi (Atl. Buja) 2h38’06”, 6. Daniele Ambrosi (G.M. Gorizia) 2h39’23”, 7. Mirko Jajatovic (Maraton Gorenjska) 2h42’21”, 8. Alberto Serena (Brugnera Friulintagli) 2h46’02”, 9. Stefano Peressutti (Us Aldo Moro) 2h49’50”, 10. Antonello Galli (Amatoiri Lecco) 2h50’56”.

WOMEN: 1. Oxana Akimenkova (Rus) 2h44’21”, 2. Tatiana Belkina (Rus) 2h48’06”, 3. Claudia Dardini (Gs Lammari) 2h51’07”, 4. Marija Vrajic (Cro) 2h52’06”, 5. Josann Attard Pulis (Mlt) 3h04’30”, 6. Monica Zenarolla (Brugnera Friulintagli) 3h18’19”, 7. Marilena Dall’Anese (Atl. Aviano) 3h19’34”, 8. Margherita Fraternali (Avis Aido Urbino) 3h20’56”, 9. Elsie Cargniel (Maratonina Udinese) 3h25’18”, 10. Elisabetta Randazzo (Azzano Runners) 3h26’26”.


  1. […] EDIT: Event Report – Massimo Leonardi king of Unesco Cities […]

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