Tel Aviv marathon cancelled midway due to heat after 75 runners injured

75 runners treated by MDA for injuries; 15 taken to the hospital; 2 in serious condition.

February 27, 2015 11:06
2 minute read.

Tel Aviv marathon 2015. (photo credit: POLICE SPOKESPERSON'S UNIT)


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Organizers of the Tel Aviv Marathon were forced to cancel the event in the middle on Friday morning, after numerous runners suffered injuries due to the unseasonable heat.

While most of the runners had completed the race, there were about 500 runners on the full marathon who had not yet finished.

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Magen David Adom treated at least 75 runners during the event, 15 of whom were taken to the hospital. Two were hospitalized in serious condition, four were listed as satisfactory and nine in good condition.

The marathon began earlier than planned, at 5:45 a.m., after forecasters predicted the weather would be unseasonably hot. The organizers wanted to avoid another tragedy like the 2013 marathon, when a young male runner died of heat prostration.

The two in serious condition included a man whom paramedics found near the finish line without a pulse and not breathing. Both he and another runner suffering from heat stroke were admitted to Ichilov Hospital in serious condition.

The marathon was set to run until mid-day, but was halted when the temperature hit 28 degrees Celsius. At that point, those still running the marathon were told to walk the rest of the distance. The Tel Aviv Municipality said that there were still dozens of runners who were asked to walk, but would be allowed to finish.

The early close had much more of an impact on the 10k, 5k, and half-marathon runners, who started later than the full marathon.

In March 2013, 29-year-old Michael Michaelovich died while running the marathon, which had been shortened due to unseasonably hot weather. The decision to hold only a half marathon was made following a recommendation by the Health Ministry due to the expected hot weather.

The shortened marathon was set to end by 9:30 a.m., but nonetheless, in addition to Michaelovich, some 80 people needed medical treatment and 34 were hospitalized with dehydration.

This year the decision was made to cut the marathon short if temperatures reached 28 degrees, in order to avoid a repeat of the 2013 tragedy.

Kenyan William Prono Yegon set a new record in the full marathon, finishing in 2:10:29.

The municipality said that around 2,300 people ran the full marathon and 8,500 the half marathon. Around 1,200 foreigners came to Israel to take part in the event, out of a total of around 35,000 participants, according to the municipality.

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