Faniel became an Italian citizen in October of 2015, and this is just his second marathon to date.
The Venice marathon was a glorious screw up that reached its crescendo when the entire leading pack was led off the route by a wayward escort motorcycle, causing them all to lose. The report adds that the leaders covered "several hundred metres" before the mistake was realized and the athletes turned back, in the process losing approximately two minutes.
Unheralded Italian runner Eyob Faniel won the Venice Marathon on Sunday after a freaky incident in which the leading runners went the wrong way.
Eyob Faniel, a talented 24-year-old runner but not a marathon elite, was about a minute behind the leaders when a motorcycle led them the wrong way 16 miles into the 26.2-mile race.
At first, Gebrehiwet was nearly a minute behind the leaders.
Gebrehiwet ran the marathon 2 hours, 12 minutes and 16 seconds, all thanks to his navigation skills. Chumba, one of the runners who was led off-course, took fourth.
"On the eve of the race I felt pressure but I managed to stay calm as I knew that I had worked well", Gebrehiwet said after the race. "Today's race shows that the work is paying off", he told the International Association of Athletic Federations. He dedicated a lot of his time to train me.