The legendary Alex Zanardi is currently one of BMW’s Brand Ambassadors, after competing in BMW cars for the better half of his driving career. The 49-year-old managed to win and set a new race record on Sunday, at the Rome Marathon, using his handcycle, bettering his own race record set back in 2012 by two and a half minutes. This was his fifth victory in the prestigious race, and it looks like a great start for this year’s para-cycling competitions.
As per usual, the 42-kilometer circuit of the Rome Marathon started off in front of the famous Colosseum, where it also ended, going through Italy’s capital historic center and passing numerous landmarks. So far, over 13,500 participants ran in this event since it was first held back in 1995, becoming one of the largest of its kind in Europe.
This year, Alex will be focusing on his para-cycling competitions as he has no motorsport racing on his schedule. The new record for the Rome Marathon now stands at 1:09:15 hours and the BMW Brand Ambassador managed to finish no less than six and a half minutes ahead of the runner up, Mauro Cratassa.
“It was a great day. The weather was nice and sunny, it is one of the best marathons in the world and I went there knowing that I could do well, as I knew how much I had prepared up to this point,” Zanardi commented. “It was interesting for me to see how my performance would be in comparison to my previous starts here in Rome. I was two and a half minutes faster than in 2012, when I set my previous record and was in full swing preparing for the Paralympics in London. So I am really happy because I performed very, very well.”
He won’t have too much time to rest on his laurels, as his next race will take place in just one week, also in Italy, at Marina di Massa, Tuscany. This para-cycling event will include a rime trial and a road race and it will be part of his training program.