Course Records Expected To Fall At Florence Marathon

A strong Ethiopian contingent is running Italy's second-largest marathon.

A strong Ethiopian contingent is running Italy’s second-largest marathon.

With a 2:07 PR, Teshome Gelana is the clear pre-race favorite in Florence. Photo: IAAF

A new flatter course in this year’s Firenze (Florence) Marathon should bode well for competitors seeking to break the race’s record. Approximately 9,000 runners will be taking to the streets of Italy’s famous Renaissance city this Sunday.

Expected to win the race is Teshome Gelana of Ethiopia who set his marathon PR in Houston last year when he clocked 2:07:37. He was the second-place finisher in Florence last year with a 2:12:41–a race run in difficult, rainy conditions. The current Florence course record is held by Kenya’s James Kutto (2:08:41), while the women’s record, 2:28:15, has belonged to Helena Javornik for the past nine years.

Florence’s new course is devoid of any hills whatsoever, which has many predicting fast times this year.

Gelana shares the same coach as Firehiwot Dado who won last year’s Rome marathon and just three weeks ago, was victorious at the ING New York City Marathon.

Along with Gelana, there is a strong Ethiopian contingent represented in Florence, including Zembaba Yigeze and Berga Birhanu Bekele.

For More: IAAF