A beautiful day greeted the 100,000 participants of the 2014 Tel Aviv Marathon today (February 28). New records were set, too.
A record 40,000 runners from Israel and abroad took part in the biggest international sports event in Israel. And Kenyan Ezekiel Koech was the first of a record-high 2,600 runners to complete the full 42.2 km marathon in a record-setting 2:14:40 hours. He won $4,300.
“Eighty years after the first marathon was held in Tel Aviv, we are celebrating the biggest marathon ever held in Israel. We are proud to host this event in Tel Aviv-Jaffa,” said Mayor of Tel Aviv Ron Huldai at the 6:30 a.m. launch.
The Marathon event included six different heats: Marathon (42.2 km), Half-Marathon (21 km), 10 km race, 5 km race, Hand-cycle race, and Mini-Marathon for kids (420-m and 840-m).
The Marathon course passed through the main streets and sites of the city, including Rothschild Blvd. and the White City, Tel Aviv Port and the shore line, Azrieli Center, the beach promenade and Yarkon Park, Old Jaffa and its port, Rabin Square and Dizengoff St.
There were 11,000 running the half marathon, 18,000 running the 10 km, 5,000 running the 5km, 100 hand-cycles, 2,000 children in the mini-marathon, 1,500 runners from overseas, 800 police officers, and 1,200 security guards.
Some 270,000 water bottles were handed out, as well as 35,000 isotonic drinks, 5,000 bananas, and 10,000 dates.
The Jerusalem Marathon is the next big running event in Israel — set to take place on March 21.