Tel Aviv Runners Pack the Streets for 100th Birthday Marathon

Noah Kosharek
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Noah Kosharek

Thousands of runners packed city streets on Friday morning for the Tel Aviv Marathon.

Traffic jams are expected as main thoroughfares will be closed while runners make their way along three tracks of 5, 10, and 42 kilometers. There will be a separate race for hand-operated cycles.

Nearly 10,000 runners had already registered by Wednesday for the race, which will be held as part of the city's 100th anniversary celebrations.

The 42-kilometer race began at the seaside Charles Clore Park at 6:45 A.M. on Friday. The winner is expected to cross the finishing line - also at the park - by about 9 A.M. The entire event is expected to end by 1 P.M.

The race started near the former sand dune where the founders of Tel Aviv gathered 100 years ago to hold a lottery over the lands on which the first houses of Tel Aviv were to be built. The route passes through the city's central streets, including Rothschild Boulevard (built in 1909) and Allenby Street, and along the boardwalk.

Parking has been forbidden from 10 P.M. Wednesday night on the following streets (including permitted parking spaces): Kaufman, Goldman, Marzouk Azar, Jerusalem (north of Salame), Jaffa, Herzl, Rothschild, Allenby, Ben Yehuda, Frishman and Arlozoroff.

Hayarkon, Rothschild, Hata'arucha and Shai Agnon streets will be closed to traffic until 1 P.M. Friday.

The roads in the Charles Clore park area closed to traffic from 6 A.M. to 8:30 A.M. on Friday. Those who did not get there by 6 A.M. will have to park two kilometers away.

The following streets will be partly closed to traffic: Jaffa/Eilat Street will be closed between Kaufman and Allenby; Herzl will be closed between Salame and the Shalom Tower; Allenby between Jaffa road and Hayarkon; Ben Yehuda Street between Allenby and Arlozoroff streets; Ibn Gvirol between Rokach and Shai Agnon; Levy Eshkol from north to south; Rokach from Dizengoff to Namir Road and from Namir to Sheetrit west to east. Rokach bridge will also be closed. Sheetrit Street will be closed from west to east between Rokach and Raoul Wallenberg, Herbert Samuel, Kaufman and Goldman streets.