Runner Wins Venice Marathon After Rivals Make Wrong Turn

Eyob Faniel became the first Italian to win the race in 22 years.

An Italian runner staged a memorable marathon win on Sunday after a major mistake by race officials.

Eyob Faniel, 25, won the Huawei Venice Marathon after a motorcycle leading the six runners ahead of him took a wrong turn, The Guardian reported.

Video shows the leaders running for several hundred meters in the wrong direction before they realize the error and have to turn back. The incident occurred about 16 miles into the 26.2-mile race.

Faniel, who runs for the local Venice marathon club, ended up clearing the finish line roughly three minutes ahead of the second-place finisher, in 2 hours, 12 minutes, 16 seconds. 

Though some observers have expressed upset on social media, the Venice Marathon tweeted that Faniel’s win still stands.

The recognition made him the first Italian to win the race in 22 years, according to The Sydney Morning Herald. His victory also serves as a good reminder that it’s not over until it’s over.