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Retrorunning at Rome marathon

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On March 16th we are running backwards!

The 2008 edition of the City of Rome Marathon will be the first big world marathon to hold an official competition for the category of backward runners. Italy is the leading nation in the promotion of backward running (running in reverse) and the AIRR (Associazione Italiana Retrorunning-Italian Backward Running Association) holds more than 20 races a year. No other nation has witnessed as great a development in backward running, and in the last few years Italy has become an important reference point also for many foreign backward runners. The best backward runners will meet in Rome on March 16th 2008; among them there will be Claudio Conti from Rimini, who gave the best Italian performance (5:50.07 Rome 2007). On the streets of Rome many backward runners will run the distance for their first time and some foreign athletes will take part in the race. The best world’s performance in backward running is of the chinese Xu Zhenjun (3:43.39).


Backward running is a natural (though very unusual) physical activity which is routinely used in many sports such as football and basketball when a player must move backward in defence without losing sight of the game. Backward running can be compared to back crawl in swimming.

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