The 10th edition of Israman Negev Eilat had it all - a remarkable winner, inspiring athletes who completed the course against all odds and even a wedding proposal at the finish line.
Around 1,300 athletes from 26 countries took part in the Israman, including in Israel’s most challenging sporting event, the Ironman triathlon, which consists of a 3.8-kilometer swim, 180-km. bike ride and a full marathon of 42.2 km.
The competition began at 6:15 a.m. under the full moon, with Petr Vabrousek of the Czech Republic, who won the grueling contest for a second straight year, not crossing the finish line until dusk, clocking a time of 9:55.30 hours.
Israel’s Tom Marmarelli finished in second place overall in a time of 10:01.12 hours, with Israel’s Nina Perkerman winning the women’s event in 11:17.42 hours.
Edo van der Meer of the Netherlands claimed the half-distance title in 4:35.29 hours. Gergo Molnar of Hungary finished in second place (4:45.40h), with Israel’s Ran Alterman crossing the line in third. (4:54.08h).
Britain’s Alice Hector won the women’s half-distance race (5:00.46h) ahead of Israel’s Antonina Raznikov (5:41.19h).
Olympic swimmer Alon Mandel and Olympic windsurfing medalist Shahar Zubari competed in the half-distance relay race in which three athletes teamed up, each contesting one of the legs. Zubari cycled 90-km, while Mandel swam 1.9-km. and was part of the winning team with cyclist Dmytro Grabovskyy and runner Boaz Oren.
Among the many finishers at the Isrotel Royal Garden Hotel were also the 54-year-old Adi Deutsch, who lost his right leg during his army service in 1979, and completed the half-distance race and 30-yearold Dan Koni who went down on one knee after finishing the full distance to propose to his girlfriend Ligal. She said yes.