But how is Genova linked to the marathon?

Thanks to the enthusiasm for the nigh Olympic victory of Dorando Pietri in London in 1909, a desire for marathon takes shape in Italy. One of the first cities to organize a 40 km race (the official distance at that time) was Voltri, not yet merged in Genova. In that year, the Italian marathon championship took place in Liguria, with the Ligurian national marathon. The winner was Umberto Blasi, from the Velo Club Gallarate, with a time of 2:48:44. Blasi earned on two other occasions the title of Italian marathon champion.
In Voltri the event took place in 1910, in 1911 (although if was interrupted at the 32km for a sea storm!) and in 1922. We must wait the 1964 for another Genova marathon, again valid for the Italian championship: to triumph this time will be the Sardinian Antonio Ambu, with the time of 2:15:42.

ANTONIO AMBU: Winner of the Genova Marathon in 1964

After twenty years of emptiness we reach the 1984 edition, won by Francesco Cipolla in 2:29:31. It will be the first Genoese marathon open to women, the first classified was Paola Bellini of Genova Atletica, with the time of 4:03:07.
In the 80’s, in the Ligurian capital, there were three other marathons however without a great response of participants.
Subsequently, in the years 1999, 2001, 2003 and 2004 there have been four editions of the Sea Marathon, with the prestigious participation of strong African athletes. The best times recorded were of two Italians,Valerio Brignole (2:16:38, year 2003) and Ornella Ferrara (2:40:12 in 2004)

anna boschi
ANNA BOSCHI: at the finish of the Genova marathon in 2003, chrono 2:47:09 (photo archive Secolo XIX)

After 14 years of silence, following the initiative of Antonio Lista, AICS and all the staff of the ASD Genova City Marathon in the year of the Morandi Bridge tragedy, there was a special 43km edition. 43 in memory of the victims of the tragic event of August 14, 2018. With 760 finishers, this was a record in Genova, with a triumph for the Genoese-Moroccan Mohamed Rity, who finished in 2h31’54 “, and the first woman to reach the finish line was Daniela Vittoria with a time of 3h11’28”.