Capri-Napoli Marathon 2023: Naples Reclaims Its Glory After Half a Century
On September 9, 2023, as the Gulf of Naples played host to the 58th edition and the 70th anniversary of the Capri-Napoli marathon, the story was crystal clear. This iconic 36 km race, which began at Le Ondine Beach Club in Marina Grande, Capri, and concluded at the bustling Circolo Canottieri, Napoli, was about to witness a Neapolitan triumph after 53 long years! The coveted Capri-Napoli Farmacosmo trophy found its way back to the heart of Naples, thanks to Mario Sanzullo with a time of 6 hours, 56 minutes, and 49 seconds.
“It’s fantastic,” Sanzullo exclaimed, “I won at home and felt a joy and warmth I won’t forget. The sprint was decisive, and I knew I had won when I heard the jury shout my number.”
Sanzullo’s faced fierce competition, particularly from Alessio Occhipinti, another Italian, who had won the race in 2021 and 2022. The two engaged in a thrilling head-to-head sprint, with Sanzullo narrowly edging out Occhipinti. The third spot on the podium was claimed by the young Neapolitan Giuseppe Ilario who made his debut.
The leading group initially comprised eight swimmers, later whittled down to six, including the likes of the Italian Ghettini, Brazil’s Evangelista, and Argentina’s Diaz. As the final kilometers approached, the trio of Sanzullo, Occhipinti, and Ilario broke away and set the stage for a nail-biting finish near Molosiglio.
Among the other notable performances was that of Federico Burdisso. A pool champion with two bronze medals from the Tokyo Olympics and a world relay gold, Burdisso swam in an open water race for the first time in his life. Staying with the leading group for a commendable four hours, he secured a respectable ninth-place finish.
On the women’s front, Argentina’s Mayte Puca dazzled, completing the marathon in 7 hours, 36 minutes, and 39 seconds. She remarked, “The temperature was wonderful. It is known for having a lot of waves. Generally, I swim very well with waves, but I struggled to find the rhythm of the waves. The last hour of swimming (approx 4km) is against the current.” Following Mayte was Chile’s Mahina Valdivia, who clocked 8 hours, 29 minutes, and 11 seconds, marking her as the first Chilean to complete this iconic race.
A standout performance came from the young prodigy, Ignacio Valdes from Chile. At just 16, he made history as the youngest swimmer to complete the marathon.
Yet, for all the individual brilliance on display, the Capri-Napoli marathon was, at its heart, a celebration of the sport. Luciano Cotena, the Race Director, captured this sentiment perfectly, “This edition was truly beautiful, filled with emotions.” Giancarlo Bracale, of the Circolo Canottieri Napoli, echoed the sentiment, emphasizing the event’s place in the city’s sports history.
The Capri-Napoli Marathon is part of the Ultramarathon Swim Series.
- Edition: 58th
- Date: September 9, 2023
- Starting Point: Le Ondine Beach Club – Marina Grande, Capri
- Finish Point: Nazario Sauro – Circolo Canottieri, Napoli
- Participants: 20 swimmers (15 men and 5 women) from 6 countries (Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Italy, and North Macedonia).
- Race Director: Mr. Luciano Cotena (ITA)
- First Referee: Mrs. Eleonora Marino (ITA)
- Second Referee: Mrs. Flora La Rocca (ITA)
- Official Doctor: Dr. Cristiano D’Errico (ITA)
Men’s Category Results:
- Mario Sanzullo (Italy) – 6h 56’ 49”
- Alessio Occhipinti (Italy) – 6h 56’ 50”
- Giuseppe Ilario (Italy) – 6h 56’ 58”
- Matias Diaz (Argentina) – 6h 58’ 17”
- Matheus Evangelista (Brazil) – 6h 58’ 59”
- Francesco Ghettini (Italy) – 6h 59’ 13”
- Niccolò Ricciardi (Italy) – 7h 08’ 40”
- Marco Inglima (Italy) – 7h 08’ 53”
- Federico Burdisso (Italy) – 7h 15’ 20”
- Evgenij Pop Acev (North Macedonia) – 7h 39’ 38”
- Aleksandar Ilievski (North Macedonia) – 7h 56’ 50”
- Aquiles Balaudo (Argentina) – 7h 59’ 50”
- Ignacio Valdes (Chile) – 8h 48’ 11”
- Santiago Petrucci (Argentina) – No Time (Race suspended due to onset of darkness)
- William Racine (Canada) – Retired
Women’s Category Results:
- Puca Mayte (Argentina) – 7h 36’ 39”
- Mahina Valdivia (Chile) – 8h 29’ 11”
- Erika Yensen (Argentina) – No Time (Race suspended due to onset of darkness)
- Vanesa Garcia (Argentina) – No Time (Race suspended due to onset of darkness)
- Elena Lionello (Italy) – No Time (Race suspended due to onset of darkness)
Photo credit: SwimSport.it Facebook