The Florence Marathon (Italian: Maratona di Firenze) is an annual full-length marathon race which takes place in late November in Florence, Italy. Established in 1984, the international competition has significantly grown in size since its inaugural edition of 462 runners, it received a record 10,000 entries for the 2009 race. It holds IAAF Label Road Race status.
Orlando Pizzolato, a two-time New York Marathon winner, was present to inaugurate the race in 1984. The competition's first course was about a kilometre short of the true marathon distance, and it was increased for all subsequent editions. The current course, which was created in 2001, starts at the Piazzale Michelangelo and finishes in Piazza Santa Croce. It passes through much of Florence's historical town centre, with architecture dating from the 13th century, including: Piazza della Signoria, Ponte Vecchio, and the Basilica of Santa Croce.
The course of the race traces a winding path (initially heading west) and it repeatedly zigzags back on itself as it passes many of the touristic sights of the city. This makes it a particularly difficult marathon as runners have to contend with the course's many bends, as well as cobblestone roads. The race begins by gently going uphill, continues with a downhill section between the 2–5 km marks, and features a largely flat course from this point until the finish. An AIMS-certified course, it has an overall net drop of 75 m thus it is ineligible for world records