History, curiosities and projects dedicated to women


News date21.10.2020

When Marcialonga was born in 1971, women could not participate as it was considered to be too heavy and demanding for the "weaker sex". 
Some tried to participate dressed up like men, with fake moustache and padding. And finally, in 1978 participation opened to women and 150 excited ladies were at the start line.  
The first winner was the French Dominique Robert Chavanne. Marcialonga dedicated the first page of the official ranking to her. She needed two hour and eleven minutes more than the male winner to complete the race; but along those 70 km a smile never left her face, nor those of the other women on the track, a sign for a social and sportive revenge. (Read the 1978 magazine >).
On the same year Silvia Giaccone withdrawed from the race - she had already participated dressed as a man in the previous years. The local hero, teacher of the middle school of Cavalese, conquered the podium the following year 1979, the year who started a unique era, with a woman who became a legend in the Italian sport field: Maria Canins Bonaldi. It is hard to list the success of this athlete, who was successful in Cross Country skiing as well as cycling: the first Italian woman winning Vasalopper, she won Marcialonga ten years in a row, conquering fifteen Italian titles. She then started to cycle, winning twice  Tour de France and once Giro d'Italia. She conquered the gold medal in the team chrono race at the 1988 Cycling World Championship in Ronse; she even won two individual silver medals and individual two bronze medals besides another silver medal with her team. 
Talking again about Marcialonga and women, in 2011 the female participants were 1400, a real record, while in the past years they around 1200 counting 20% of the total participation. 
The percentage decreases in the cycling race, as only 10% of participants to Marcialonga Craft are women. It is hard to understand why - maybe the hard climbs or the female cycling world is less developed - but ladies are always welcome to join Marcialonga!
On the other side, female participation to the running race is way higher, counting for 30% of participants of Marcialonga Coop.
In order to participate to Marcialonga, it does not matter in which sport discipline (xc-skiing, road-biking, running), you need preparation, perseverance, character; but you do not need to be a professional athlete. Common women have crossed the finish line across the years. 
A couple of years ago, Marcialonga launched the MarcialonGirl project, inciting women to practice sport and creating a female community to share their experiences and support each other. The Ambassadors of the project are women and girls with a big passion for sport and Marcialonga. 
In 2020, Ilaria successfully completed the Marcialonga ski-marathon and Federica, biker from Rome, faced the virtual race since the event was moved to 2021. Gaia had to give up the participation to Marcialonga Coop, which she had already completed four times before. 
Their passion for sport never stopped and they shared it with us on their social media. The same did Enrica, Cristina and Karen, ambassadors 2019.
We can't wait to see our MarcialonGirls on the field again, sharing with you the beautiful emotions of Marcialonga, this is why Ilaria, Federica and Gaia will be again ambassadors MarcialonGirl in 2021. 
Keep on following them on their social media channels  @ilaria_lancia @cancellieri_federica @gaiapanozzo, and so not miss their stories, training and the life of three special girls.
You are MarcialonGirls: women, mothers, workers, students, housewives. All of you. Share with us your trainings and sport experiences in sight of Marcialonga using #marcialongirl

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