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.

Tel Aviv Marathon
Nir Kedar

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.

The organizers recommend that participants and spectators come by public transportation or on foot. Anyone who intends to arrive by car to the Charles Clore Park area after 6 A.M. is advised to park at Bloomfield Stadium or the Jaffa Port.

During the race, there will be changes in public transportation routes.

Parking has been prohibited since last night along all of the race routes. Police will bar traffic on these and surrounding streets from early this morning until about 1:30 P.M.

The following streets in central Tel Aviv will be closed: Herbert Samuel Promenade, Kaufman and Yordei Hasira streets; Allenby Road ‏(from Hayarkon Street to Rothschild Boulevard‏); Rothschild Boulevard, Tarsat Street, Ben-Gurion Boulevard; Dizengoff Street ‏(from Tarsat to Ibn Gabirol and from Frishman Street to Nordau Boulevard; Marmorek and Hahashmonaim streets; Begin Road ‏(from Hahashmonaim to Kaplan‏), and Kaplan Street.

In Jaffa, Goldman Boulevard will be closed as far as Clock Tower Square; Yefet ‏(from Goldman to Yehuda Margoza Street‏), Retzif Ha’aliya Hashniya and Yehuda Margoza streets.

In North Tel Aviv, the following roads will be closed to traffic: Sheetrit Street; Rokach Boulevard; Ibn Gabirol Street ‏(from Namir Road to Shai Agnon Street‏); Shai Agnon Street; Hata’arucha Street; Levi Eshkol Street ‏(from Propes Street to Haim Levanon Street‏); Raul Wallenberg and Habarzel streets, as well as the Tel Aviv port.