The Tel Aviv marathon, to be held on Friday, will cause serious traffic disruptions throughout the city. Main thoroughfares will close starting early in the day, lasting until midday. Starting Thursday evening, parking will be prohibited in streets along the course of the race. Public transportation routes will also be affected.
From 4 AM to 1:30 PM on Friday, parking and travel will be prohibited along these streets: Rokach, HaTa’arucha, Levi Eshkol, Shay Agnon, Unitzman, the Tel Aviv Port, Highway 2040, the Glilot interchange, Hayarkon, the Herbert Samuel Promenade, Kaufman, Goldman, Dizengoff, Allenby, Rothschild, Tarsat, Ben Gurion, Laskov, Aluf Magen, Kaplan, HaArba’a, Ibn Gvirol, Marmorek, Sderot Yerushalayim, Herzl, Elifelet and HaAliyah HaShniya. All streets abutting or crossing these streets will also be closed.
Between 8 and 11 in the morning travel will also be prohibited on Derech Namir, between the Glilot interchange And Pinkas Street, in both directions. Parking along the route will be prohibited from 18:00 on Thursday evening. Organizers of the race have suggested that runners use public parking and then public transportation in order to reach the starting point.
Ahead of the race, which is held at the initiative of the Tel Aviv municipality and is funded by numerous commercial companies, Rabin Square has been almost completely closed for three weeks. Gigantic tents belonging to sponsors have been erected there, with many electronic advertisements on display. A record number of 40,000 runners are expected in the various races, all of which will start and end on Rokach Boulevard, near the city’s Exhibition Grounds.
A slight increase in temperatures is expected, but the weather is expected to be pleasant. The Tel Aviv Marathon made headlines in recent years due to fatalities and a large number of runners who suffered from medical problems. In 2011 a 40-year-old runner from Jerusalem, David Shlomovitz, collapsed and died in a half-marathon event. In March 2013 29-year-old Michael Michaelovich died during the race. Dozens of others required medical attention, mainly due to the intense heat that prevailed during the race.
Following Michaelovich’s death the Ministry of Health set up a professional committee which recommended that mass sports events should be cancelled when temperatures reach 28 degrees centigrade or more. City hall decided to move the race to the last Friday of every February, in order to reduce the chance of high temperatures which would endanger the runners. Despite this, dozens of runners required medical assistance in 2014, partly due to heat stroke. In 2015 the race was stopped half way through due to the hot weather. Even before that, many runners already needed medical help.