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Udine Marathon, the Army of the 800 that stopped the city for a few hours: parties fill the center

Udine Marathon, the Army of the 800 that stopped the city for a few hours: parties fill the center

Maratonina is back after a hiatus last year. Some inconvenience due to road closures and bends

Udine. After a sabbatical year imposed by Covid, which canceled the last version, the city has regained its “marathon”. A party for many, from Udine and not, thanks to the mild weather that has drawn athletes, fans, families and many more spectators to the heart of Udine. The higher the rally on arrival, via Vittorio Veneto, the less encouraged the athletes along the 21 km (start at Viale della Vittoria).

Some inconvenience is inevitable for those who wanted to enter the city because access was banned from the early hours of the morning to allow the event – won by Kenyan Aggrey Kiprotich Rono as we say in the sports pages – with cars lining up the many ways to get into the city. Even urban bus lines have been diverted to leave the itinerary free to 800 subscribers (Friulian marathon runner who has multiple sclerosis Silvia Forlani is also at the finish line).

“Every year we come to see who is going to participate, for us it has become a fixed date,” explains Bernardo Catarinusi, walking with his wife Marina. The couple, in their 70s, come from the Bassian de Prato region and praise the “sports competition that invigorates the city” for which “athletes train all year round, even in groups, in Cormore Park”.

Andrea Orzan, born in Udine in 1968, is among the few (“now they’re finger-less”) to have taken part in the event since its inception. «I raced all versions – he says -, 21 out of 21. Always present, with sun or with rain, with children and without children. The flight was completed in an hour and 41 minutes, age – joking – making itself felt ». The distant start, the obligation to wear a mask for the first 500 meters of the race, the measures needed to ensure a safe marathon run, and an unprecedented itinerary were not “an obstacle”. Besides the “Veteran”, Massimo Giuliano, the friend who dragged him into the business, a watchmaker in Kociniaco, recalls, with several posts behind him, “no less than 16”. To support them, a small group of relatives and friends waited for them at the finish line.

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Francesco Driosi, of Martinaco, was waiting instead for his friend Paolo, who is taking part in the race, with his young son on the pram. “I’ve been athletics too – and he’s confident – but I came today to see who’s struggling.” With him is Federica, who noticed “fewer people in the city than in the past”.

Roberta isn’t the first time she’s followed a race involving teammate Andrea Giannico, who made his character with a time of 1 hour 28 minutes. But with her, for the first time, there was their young son. “Odin brought us luck,” he says with a smile.

Michele and Valentina also stopped in front of the finish line via Vittorio Veneto, even if they didn’t know anyone involved in the race. “When there is movement and life in the city – they affirm – it is always beautiful.”
If bars and restaurants remained open, this was not the case for many other stores, which – with a few exceptions – preferred not to open their shutters. «Athletes – the causes of Confcomercio Giuseppe Pavan – pray in the morning, get ready and run, but don’t stay. The service provided to users was guaranteed by public establishments and catering, from a purely commercial point of view, it is not an attractive event, but of course it is a permanent event for Udine and this message – concludes Pavan – must not fail “