Tel Aviv braces for 25,000-strong marathon

Organizers are expecting some 100,000 spectators to come out to cheer the runners on; concerts and performances planned along the route.

 

More than 25,000 people are expected to take part in the Tel Aviv Gillette Marathon 2012 today, with about 1,750 runners registered for the full 42.2 kilometer event.

Organizers are expecting some 100,000 spectators to cheer on the runners, who will start at 6:45 A.M. at Charles Clore Park, on the beach. The full marathon will head north on Hayarkon Street, then to Allenby Road, via Rothschild Boulevard, to the Kirya and the Azrieli complex via Kaplan Street before circling back to Hayarkon Street and on to North Tel Aviv and back to Charles Clore Park via Ibn Gabirol, Frishman, Dizengoff and Nordau streets.

There will also be a half-marathon, 10K and a 4.2-kilometer races, a 420-meter race for children, a half marathon for in-line skaters and a 30-kilometer handcycle race. All the races set out from Kaufman Street and end at the nearby Charles Clore Park.

Ofer Shytrit, CEO of Kapaim marketing and sales promotion, which produces the Tel Aviv Marathon, says this year the organizers made an effort to turn the race into a “marathon festival, with a range of entertainment offerings.

“Instead of being a punishment” for put-upon city residents, “We’re trying to make it a cause for celebration,” Shytrit said. “All over the world the marathon is a holiday, except in Israel … only in Israel to people say ‘marathon’ and think ‘traffic nightmare.’ We’re saying come on in, enjoy yourselves, see the spectacle − and the runners need your encouragement.”

Bands will play for runners and spectators on stages along the various routes, in addition to performances at Charles Clore Park and at Rabin Square.

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By Ilan Lior

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