The Tel Aviv Marathon: One of Israel’s Largest Sporting Events
Attracting as many as 40,000 participants, the Tel Aviv Marathon is one of Israel’s most popular sporting events. It’s also one of Tel Aviv’s most popular annual attractions, with tens of thousands of visitors arriving in the city to support the runners and take in the sights and sounds of the famed White City.
A brief history of the Tel Aviv Marathon
The first marathon in Tel Aviv was held in March 1981. In what was a relatively low-key event compared to today’s proceedings, Frenchman Jean-Michel Charbonnel took first place in the inaugural race. Barring a one-year absence in 1983, the event would become an annual fixture until 1994. After a 14-year sabbatical, city officials decided to reinstate the event in 2009. Again, the marathon has become an annual fixture, albeit one beleaguered by weather issues. In 2013, unseasonably hot weather saw a shortened race, with officials deciding only a half-marathon would be safe. Organizers adjusted subsequent races for earlier in the year. In 2014, the marathon was run in February, significantly earlier than the March and April dates of the past. In 2015, in a bid to reduce the impact of hot temperatures, the race began at 05:45 in the morning.
The marathon course
The all-road marathon takes place across the city of Tel Aviv, taking in magnificent scenery and some of the city’s top attractions. From start to finish line, participants pass the likes of Tel Aviv Marina, Jaffa Port, Tel Aviv Port, and the Great Synagogue. The Yarkon River and beaches offer splendid views to both runners and spectators, while Tel Aviv’s famed Rothschild Avenue is taken over for the event. The race also takes in part of the Israel National Trail. As well as the full-marathon, other races are scheduled over a number of days around the event, including a half-marathon, 10K and 5K races, and even a kid’s mini marathon. In the past, in-line skating and hand cycle races have also been included in event.
Fun for spectators
There’s more to the Tel Aviv Marathon than the 42.195 kilometer road race (and the subsequent offshoot races). Those arriving in the city to watch the event, or even those vacationing in the city by coincidence, are treated to plenty of entertainment, including live music, parties, and special events.
Furthermore, Tel Aviv is not short on tourist attractions and delights. From its historic buildings and cultural landmarks to its world class cuisine and vibrant nightlife, marathon-goers are spoilt for choice. With so many attractions and activities on offer, a trip to Tel Aviv promises to be memorable and time well spent.
Herods Tel Aviv is the perfect accommodation choice for runners and spectators alike. Located on Ha-Yarkon Street, the hotel sits right along the marathon’s course.
More articles you may find interest in: