Over 40,000 people participated in the annual Tel Aviv marathon, which began its full day of events on Friday morning at 6 a.m. with a half-marathon run.
Hundreds of participants used the opportunity of the marathon to exhibit their opposition to the government's planned judicial reforms. Some put stickers on their shirts, while others ran while carrying signs saying "the race for democracy".
Some Twitter accounts showed their support for the anti-government protests at the marathon. Pro-democracy movement Kumi Israel wrote "The opposition to the coup is everywhere: Now in the Tel Aviv marathon."
Democrat TV, an account affiliated with the Darkenu organization, said "The Tel Aviv Marathon has become the Democracy Marathon."
מרתון תל אביב הפך להיות מרתון הדמוקרטיהצילום: בן כהן pic.twitter.com/7qMSOgWiW9— דמוקרטTV (@Democrat_TV) February 24, 2023
A new record
The marathon, organized by the Tel Aviv-Yafo municipality took place for the 15th time this year and included six urban routes mapped throughout the city – a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10km race, a 5km race and a hand bike race.
The full marathon winners were Mibei Dominic Kipngeno at 02:10:11 on the male side, and Njuguna Margaret at 02:42:40 in the female run. The time by Kenyan Kipngeno set a new record for the Tel Aviv marathon course.
Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo Ron Huldai said: “We are happy that the Playtika Tel Aviv Marathon continues to occupy an important place among the main running events in the world, through initiatives such as the attempt to break a world record. Luna sets the bar high and thereby marks the Playtika Tel Aviv Marathon as a place where it is proper and right to strive for breaking personal and group records. We were happy to see, once again, the tens of thousands of participants in the largest and most important sports event in Israel, here in Tel Aviv-Yafo. Thank you for the participation and the many, happy and colorful presence of the cheerleaders throughout the city.”
One 48-year-old runner collapsed after feeling ill during the run. First responders performed CPR on him and managed to revive him. He was then taken to Ichilov Hospital in stable condition.
The day also includes live music events, food stands and exhibitions around sports and health.
Israel Police announced the closure of multiple streets throughout Tel Aviv in preparation for the event.