GAAC 2007 amateur sports association is behind Veronamarathon; a team that, together with Veronamarathon Eventi and Verona City Hall, has made of the marathon of Verona one of the most popular events in Italy in few years.
Certified by IAAF and FIDAL, GAAC 2007 find its origin in the mid-50s, when a group of friends and fans, of hiking at altitude, founded the “Friends of Carega Mountaineers Group.”
Members of GAAC dedicated themselves to mountain running (specialty that Sergio Pennacchioni, one of the founders, and his team used to loved).
The transition to athletics took place in 1965 when some young promising athletes have joined the team; later they will be protagonists of important pages of sport history.
Meanwhile Sergio Pennacchioni started collaboration with Dario Bergamini (current president of GAAC 2007), who joined him first as sponsor e then as a manager.
Since the early 80s the team began to collect some top athletes such as Gelindo Bordin (Olympic Marathon Champion in Seoul 1988), Francesco Panetta (gold in the 3,000 steeplechase and silver in the 10,000 at the World Championships in Rome 1987), Loris Primazzoni and Alfonso Valicella.
GAAC also has created a very successful “pink team”: we remember Laura Fogli and Maria Curatolo.
The team in those years was supported by the passionate partnership of Dr. Franco Cicolini – owner of the food industry PAF – that helped to give birth to the PAF ATHLETICS, a GAAC brand.
Since the middle of the ’80s the group began to deal with an organizational role, started with the management of the European Championship of Clubs racing.
In the early 90s with the untimely demise of Sergio Pennacchioni and the end of its partnership with PAF, GAAC ended his extraordinary sport life.
In February of 2008 the rebirth of the team (in the meantime renewed with the name GAAC 2007) organized the first edition of the Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon, dedicated to the pioneer Pennacchioni, for historical and affective reasons.
After the success of the “half -marathon”, the following year GAAC 2007 organized the 2nd edition of Romeo & Juliet Half Marathon and also the 8th edition of Veronamarathon, famous marathon born in 2001, which it grows in number and importance.
In December 2009, the team held a new event: the Christmas Run, a charity run, with runners dressed up as Santa Claus with the costume offered by the organization; a debut with a bang of 500 participants, despite the cold weather (-5 C).
On February 2011 the 4th Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon was accompanied by the Veronamarathon, always with the finish line in Piazza Bra. Both events brought great success of participants: the “half ” graduated 3rd half marathon in Italy with 3,800 runners while the Veronamarathon becomes the 9th Italian marathon with 1,600 arrivals.
In 2012 GAAC 2007 proposed a change: the “half ” remain in middle February, while the marathon has been moved to October 6th with departure in Valpolicella and arrival inside the Arena of Verona. A change welcome from the runners universe: 1695 athletes on arrival.
The streets of Verona were populated of more than 5,000 participants to the non-competitive LAST 10 km. Solidarity race organized for a pleasant and active expectation of competitive athletes. And still the third Gardaland Hald Marathon, the last edition, and the 4th Christmas Santas Run with 1,800 participants.
2013 saw a very crowded 6th Giulietta & Romeo Half marathon with 4850 finishers, combined with the romantic expressions of VERONA IN LOVE in february, and the 12th Veronamarathon in October, once again in the top 10 marathons in Italy despite a significant drop in participants. Over 2,000 Santas, on a beautiful sunny winter day.
2014: the organizational ability of GAAC 2007 have been sealed by the charge of the organization of the Half Marathon Italian Championship in conjunction with the 7th Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon: 6,200 athletes at the finish line, more than 500 delay runners .
The beauty of Verona, the great organizational capacity and the finish line in “La Arena di Verona” are important contributions in the choice of the athletes.
The 13th Veronamarathon in October changes one more time its course: start and finish in Piazza Bra, in conjunction with the 1st edition of Cangrande Half Marathon and the 3rd LAST10.
The 2015 Gensan Title Sponsor and over 6,000 arrived athletes at the 8th Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon, which opens the DUO marathon.
14th Veronamarathon moves to November and nearly triples the number of arrived athletes as well as the 2nd Cangrande Half Marathon: 6,000 competitive athletes in addition to the 5,000 participants in the LAST 10.
In 2016, the 9th Gensan Giulietta & Romeo Half Marathon exceeds 7,100 arrived athletes, with 830 couples attending the DUO, in a very unpleasant day under the weather aspect.
The 15th Veronamarathon edition, now firmly established in November, saw more than 2,500 arrived athletes as the 3rd Cangrande Half Marathon, in a confused regulatory situation. The LAST 10 continues its way, picking over 20,000 euro of contributions for Nonprofit participants associations.
The Christmas Run multiplies in three editions: Modena, Cremona and then in Verona, where over 7,000 Santas invade the streets of downtown. Around 10,000 participants.
Now the aim is to keep growing. And the story continues.