Tel Aviv marathon postponed due to hot weather

Temperatures are projected to reach 36 degrees Celsius in Tel Aviv on Friday, prompting Health Ministry warning.

March 12, 2013 19:58
1 minute read.
Tel Aviv Marathon 2012

Tel Aviv Marathon 2012_370. (photo credit: Courtesy Filizer Communications)

The full Tel Aviv Marathon has been postponed by a week to March 22 due to the scorching weather expected on its original date this coming Friday.

Temperatures are projected to reach 36 degrees Celsius in Tel Aviv on Friday, and following a warning by the Health Ministry, the marathon organizers on Tuesday announced the postponement of the 42.195-kilometer race.

The other events scheduled for Friday, including the half marathon and 10K races as well as other festivities across town, will still go ahead. However, the races have been brought forward to the earlier and cooler hours of the morning, with the half marathon to get underway between 5:45-6 a.m. and the 10K to start between 6:45-7:15 a.m. Due to the changes, the roads previously scheduled to be closed until 1 p.m. will be open to the public from 10 a.m.

The Health Ministry on Tuesday had advised the Tel Aviv Municipality to halve the length of its Friday marathon and require runners to finish the race by 8:30 a.m. due to the expected searing heat. The ministry’s Danny Moran, a physiologist and expert on healthy lifestyle, said that anyone who runs more than 21 km. after that time is at risk of fainting or suffering from hyperthermia, which can be life-threatening. In addition, runners from around the world pouring in to Tel Aviv to participate are not necessarily used to running in such weather.

Temperatures before 8 a.m. will be below 30 degrees, but after 8:30 will rise to 31-32, and by noon, could escalate to 36 degrees, Moran continued. The ministry cannot cancel the marathon by edict but only recommended that it be shortened and completed early; anyone who becomes ill as a result of racing could easily sue the organizers.

The Tel Aviv Marathon is one of the largest races in Israel. An estimated 35,000 people were expected to participate in the various races before the organizers decided to push it off.

Last year, the Jerusalem Marathon had the opposite problem, as participants ran through hail and rain in freezing temperatures.

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