Tel Aviv prepares for marathon and big traffic jams

Street closures expected to cause heavy morning gridlock; tens of thousands expected to partake in event.

Tel Aviv Marathon, Yarkon Park 370 (photo credit: Courtesy)
Tel Aviv Marathon, Yarkon Park 370
(photo credit: Courtesy)
Tens of thousands of runners will set out early Friday morning for the city’s highly-promoted 2012 Gillette Tel Aviv Marathon.
By mid-week city workers began dispersing barriers around the city which will be used to block off dozens of streets, causing what is expected to be heavy Friday morning gridlock between the hours of 5 a.m. and 1 p.m.
The runners will have to contend with daylight savings time, which comes in the night before and is set to wreak havoc on the marathon times of runners who did not get the memo to set their watches an hour forward the night before.
The first place runner in the marathon will take home a price of NIS 15,000, followed by NIS 10,000 for second place and NIS 5,000 for third.
The day’s events will also include a half marathon, a 10km. urban run, an inline skating marathon and a 30km. hand cycle race for people with special needs.
The runners will start on Kaufmann Street in south Tel Aviv and will make their way up Hayarkon Street to Allenby Street where they will take a right towards Rothschild Boulevard.
Heading left on Rothschild they will then circle the Habimah Theater, pass the Defense Department headquarters, Azrieli Mall and the Ayalon freeway, before heading back down Rothschild and Allenby and then back up Hayarkon all the way to Nordau Boulevard. There they will take a right and head down Dizengoff Street to Frishman Street and then left around Rabin Square and north on Ibn Gvirol before skirting along the Hayarkon river heading east through park Hayarkon to the eastern reaches of the city.
Then they will backtrack west along Rokach Boulevard and then north through Ramat Aviv towards Tel Baruch and around Sde Dov Airport before heading back south through the port to Hayarkon and, finally, the finish line next to the Charles Clore Garden.
The marathon runners will be cursed profusely by drivers who find the following streets blocked: Sheetrit Street, Rokach Boulevard, Ibn Gvirol Street (from Namir Road to Shai Agnon Street), Shai Agnon Street, Hata’arucha Street, the Tel Aviv Port, Levi Eshkol Boulevard, Raoul Wallenberg Street, Habarzel Street, Hayarkon Street, Yordei Hasira Street, Herbert Samuel Promenade, Kaufmann Street, Goldman Boulevard to Jaffa Clock Square, Ha’aliya Hashnia dock, Yehuda Margoza Street to Jaffa Port, Allenby Street (from Hayarkon Street to Rothschild Boulevard), Rothschild Boulevard, Tarsat Boulevard, Ben-Zion Boulevard, Dizengoff Street, (from Tarsat Boulevard to Ibn Gvirol Street and from Frishman Street to Nordau Boulevard), Marmorek Street, Hashmonaim Street, Begin Road and Kaplan Street.