Tel Aviv Set to Decide Whether to Hold Marathon Friday

Tel Aviv municipality awaits a firmer weather report to set a date for the event after a runner dies in the half-marathon, which was held despite the extreme heat.

Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior
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Ilan Lior
Ilan Lior

The Tel Aviv municipality is expected to decide on Monday whether to hold the Tel Aviv Marathon on Friday, after postponing the decision on Sunday to get a firmer weather forecast and hear the Health Ministry’s opinion.

The race was not held last Friday as planned because of the very hot weather, but shorter races took place and a 29-year-old runner died in the half-marathon.

The municipality said Sunday weather conditions would be the sole consideration in deciding whether to hold the full marathon. Around 2,400 people have registered for the 42-kilometer race, but the city believes that many of them, particularly runners from abroad, ran the half-marathon instead and would not be taking part Friday.

So as not to disrupt Tel Aviv traffic again, the marathon is scheduled to be held in Hayarkon Park rather than on the streets.

“We’re preparing for the marathon on the assumption it will take place,” said Motti Ambram, head of the municipality’s sports department.

Meanwhile, the city is still investigating the death and heat-related injuries in the half-marathon.

“We still don’t have full understanding,” Ambram said. “We’re examining every procedure carried out before the event and are trying to see if we could have done something to avoid the loss of life. We’re also trying to get input from external sources like Magen David Adom, Ichilov [Hospital] and the police.”

Ambram noted that next year’s marathon is scheduled for April 4, which is even more likely to be hot. Ambram said the city hasn’t yet decided whether to try to move up the date. 

Runners participateing in the Tel Aviv half-marathon, March 15, 2013.Credit: Daniel Bar-On