Ethiopian runners Shura Kitata Tola and Rahma Tusa won the 23rd edition of the Acea Rome Marathon men and women’s titles, respectively, clocking respective time of 2:07:30 and 2:27:21.

By Jon Mulkeen (IAAF) |

ROME, Italy (AFP)―Shura Kitata Tola recorded the second-fastest time ever witnessed at the Acea Rome Marathon while fellow Ethiopian and training partner Rahma Tusa successfully defended her title on women’s event at the IAAF Silver Label Road Race on Sunday ( April 2).

With rain falling heavily in the Italian capital, the men’s race set off at a quick pace. A quartet of pacemakers led the field through 5km in 14:49, 10km in 29:39 and 15km in 44:47 with the splits suggesting a sub-2:06 finishing time.

Seven men, not including the pacemakers, went through the half-way point in 1:03:25 and it appeared as though they still had a good chance of breaking the course record of 2:07:17 set in 2009 by Benjamin Kiptoo.

But the pace slipped after the last of the pacemakers dropped out at 30km. Four men – Shura Kitata Tola, fellow Ethiopians Werkunesh Seyoum and Solomon Lema, plus Kenya’s Dominic Ruto – were left in the lead pack at that point.

Solomon Lema was the next to drop behind while the three other men ran together for another five kilometers and reached 35km in 1:46:03, 2:07:51 pace. Shura Kitata Tola knew that if he was to break the course record, he couldn’t hang around any longer.

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