With each passing year, Israel is becoming a more popular destination for serious runners, swimmers and cyclists. Below is a listing of 14 major competitive events planned for 2018, open to qualified athletes across the globe.

41st INTERNATIONAL SEA OF GALILEE – TIBERIAS WINNER MARATHON

January 5, 2018

This marathon takes a comfortable route in Tiberias along the southern shore of the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) up to Ein Gev and back. There’s an option for a 10K race. Contact info@marathonisrael.co.il

ISRAMAN

Eilat, January 26, 2018

In December 1999, Israel’s first edition of a long-distance Ironman triathlon attracted 26 athletes. Today, Israman Garmin attracts about 2,000 participants from many countries. Options include the Israman 226 (swim 3.8K, bike 180K, run 42.2K) and Israman 113 (swim 1.9K, bike 90K, run 21.1K).

Israman Garmin 2017 triathlon winner Dan Alterman at the finish line. Photo via Facebook

RED SEA SWIMCUP

Eilat, January 27, 2018

The day after Israman heralds the start of the Red Sea SwimCup, the only winter open-sea swim race in the northern hemisphere. This is possible because the water in the Gulf of Eilat is a steady 21C/70F all year. Options include competitive and non-competitive swims as well as a short fun/family swim.

TEL AVIV SAMSUNG MARATHON

February 23, 2018

The event includes a full marathon, half marathon, 10K Urban Run and 4.2K Friendship Race on flat terrain along the Mediterranean.

JERUSALEM WINNER MARATHON

March 9, 2018

Choose a marathon, half-marathon, 10K or 5K run through challenging hilly topography passing by historic sites of the city. There’s also a 1.7K family race and 800-meter community race between the Knesset and the Israel Museum. jem@target-market.co.il

THE 6TH INTERNATIONAL GRAN FONDO ARAD DEAD-SEA, March 24, 2018

This 155K road-cycling race begins and ends at Ein Bokek Dead Sea Hotel Resort and includes 1,873 meters of vertical climbing through the scenic Dead Sea valley, the Arava Junction and the Scorpions Pass climb, finishing at Haturim Junction.

Gran Fondo Arad -Dead Sea 3-5.3.16 Save the Dates !

Gran Fondo Arad – Dead Sea 3-5.3.16 – Save the Dates !Registration will be open soon in the website: www.granfondo-deadsea.co.il/enMore detais: www.facebook.com/GranFondoDeadSeaגראן פונדו ערד ים המלח 3-5.3.16 – ההרשמה מתחילה בקרוב באתר www.granfondo-deadsea.co.ilפרטים נוספים בדף הפייסבוק: www.facebook.com/GranFondoDeadSea

Posted by Gran Fondo Arad Dead Sea on Sunday, 6 September 2015

GFNY JERUSALEM

April 27, 2018

GFNY, the largest global marathon cycling series, is coming to Jerusalem. The long (130K) and short (70K) options both end at the Jerusalem Arena and all participants are chip-timed from start to finish. Riders will receive their overall as well as age-group result based on finish time. The top 10% of each age group will be seeded in the front corrals for the Campagnolo GFNY Championship in New York City.

GIRO D’ITALIA

May 4, 2018

The annual multiple-stage Giro bicycle race always opens with a “Big Start” traveling event outside Italy. In May, Israel will host Big Start, the first time it is taking place outside of Europe.

Giro cyclists will spend three days biking around Jerusalem, Haifa, Acre, Caesarea, Tel Aviv, Mitzpeh Ramon and Eilat. The Giro will finish on May 22 in Italy.

SOVEV PLANET JERUSALEM

May 2018 (exact date not yet set)

Four cycling routes incorporating the city’s main attractions, nature and scenery include a 50K for professional and experienced cyclists age 16 and up, 40K for experienced cyclists age 16 and up, 20K for active cyclists and families and 10K for beginners over age 12. Cyclists aged 12-16 must be accompanied by parents. About 7,000 cyclists are expected to start from The First Station.

WOMEN’S TRIATHLON

Herzliya, June 2, 2018

This women’s swim-bike-run competition begins at Herzog Promenade for both single starters and relay teams. Three levels of difficulty are offered as well as a separate event for girls aged 8-13.

SOVEV TEL AVIV

September 2018 (date not yet confirmed)

Sovev Tel Aviv offers four cycling routes: 8K for beginners or families, 21K for cyclers in good shape, 40K for experienced riders and 60K for master cyclists, as well as an inline skating course. The event starts and finishes at Rokach Street near the exhibition center.

ULTRA MARATHON SOVEV EMEK

October 25-26, 2018

The hilly trail begins at Kibbutz Hazorea in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel and passes through scenic wadis, forests and a railroad crossing. There are seven runs from which to choose: 12K, 21K, 33K, 61K, 100K, 133K and 166K.

Participants in the Ultra Marathon Sovev Emek, northern Israel. Photo: courtesy

11th ANNUAL TEL AVIV NIGHT RUN

October 2018 (date not yet confirmed)

This 9-to-midnight 10K urban race attracts some 25,000 runners (and hordes of spectators) each year in Tel Aviv.

EILAT DESERT MARATHON 

November 30, 2018

Choose a full marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, 3K or 300-meter DesertKid run. The race begins in the desert and ends on the Red Sea shore and takes runners through the scenic mountains surrounding sandy Eilat.