Rome, 11 March ’18 – It was really a special Sunday, as always, the Huawei RomaOstia, that this year celebrated its 44th edition, recorded a result that will remain in the road race records, writing an unforgettable page of the most loved half marathon in Italy.
At the finish line located on the seafront of Ostia, the US athlete Galen Rupp, arrived alone with his arms raised, at 59:47 ahead of the African athletes, two Kenyans, usually absolute masters of cross country races and middle distance races. A non-African athlete has not been the first to reach the finish line in the Huawei RomaOstia since 1997, that year it was the turn of another great, Stefano Baldini, who established the Italian record of 61.10 and then in 2004 became an Olympic champion.
A beautiful race from a technical point of view: Rupp counterattacked a trio of Africans, who tried with suicidal tactics for two thirds of the race – pushing off several times as the Kenyans had previously done in track races against our own Antibo – trying, unrealistically, to put him in difficulty and detach from him.
Galen, in shape, because of the amount of training carried out in preparation for the Boston marathon, remained quietly glued to Moses Kemei and Justus Kangogo, waiting for just the right time to launch the decisive attack, probably previously studied with his coach Salazar, also coach to the highly-decorated Olympian Moh Farah. The moment came between the 15th and the 16th kilometer, when the friendly athlete from Portland increased his pace and left his rivals practically in place, flying, under a light rain, towards the finish line, where he was welcomed by many fans and closed the race with the time of 59:47, his absolute personal best (previously 60.30 in the New York course on March 20, 2011) a few seconds from the US record on the same distance.
“It was a splendid race – said the athlete, not at all tired by the 21.097 km just traveled – favored by the weather conditions we witnessed until the arrival. Light wind and rain, really all perfect. I knew I was well, I wanted to win and I did it. I congratulate my opponents who fought until the end “.
Alternatively, the female race was dominated by the Ethiopian, first to the finish line Hftamenesh Haylu with 1:09.02 in front of her competitor Dera Dida who came in very close second at 1:09:21. Third place was awarded to one of the favorites, Kenyan Rebecca Chesir, who finished in 1:11:04.
First of the Italians was the athlete from the Fiamme Gialle, Rosalba Console, who came sixth, closing the race despite a fever, in 1:13:44. “This race always gives me incredible emotions” – said the athlete from Puglia – “because I’m always treated as a great athlete. I really wanted to be here and I’m happy with my result”.
As always the Huawei RomaOstia was a real celebration for runners, from all over the world: over 11,000 runners were at the start line of which 9172 made it to the finish line. They were joined by another 1000 runners who ran in the Euroma2 Run through the streets of EUR.
After the success achieved in this 44th edition, the Organization thanks all the various institutions and its numerous partners: Roma Capitale and Regione Lazio, FIDAL and CONI. Huawei, Joma, Acea, Enervit, Sara Insurance, GLS Corriere Espresso, Citroen, Brioche Pasquier, Virgin Active, Cetilar di Pharmanutra, Egeria, Barceló Aran Mantegna, Minguzzi, TDS. For the 5 km Euroma2 and Sport85. Thanks also to the media partners: La Gazzetta dello Sport, Il Messaggero, Radio 2 and FOX Sports. All updates are published on the official website www.romaostia.it, on the social pages FB and twitter.