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Thousands of runners hit Tel Aviv streets for 2019 Samsung Marathon

Runners pass through Jaffa Port in the 2019 Samsung Marathon Friday, February 22, 2019.
Tom Segal/i24NEWS

Over 40,000 runners were expected to hit the streets of Tel Aviv on Friday morning as the 2019 Samsung Marathon kicked off in Israel.

Ethiopian athlete Samuel Getachew Demi won first place in the marathon, crossing the finish line with a time of 2:14:31. 

The 42km marathon route took runners on a scenic path throughout Tel Aviv neighborhoods and along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea.

Beginning on Rokach Boulevard in the north, participants wound through many of the city’s famed neighborhoods, including Sarona Market, Rabin Square, and Old Jaffa.

The race was expected to see some 2,500 international participants, including a large delegation of elite international runners who sought attempt to break the marathon record.

Kenya’s William Kiprono Yagon set the current record of 2:10:30 in 2015. If a runner had managed to beat the record, they would have earned a $40,000 prize.

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With an emphasis to “support social and community engagement,” this year Samsung pledged to match each calorie burnt by runners with a similar calorie-rich product to be donated to families in need.

The calories burned will be calculated live on screens throughout the route.

“The Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality is proud to promote the sport culture in the city. We are pleased that every year the number of international participants rises, placing the city as an important destination for marathon runners from Israel and abroad,” Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai said.

“We welcome the 2,500 runners joining us from abroad to participate in the unique experience that we create annually in the city.”

A number of major roads were closed throughout the city Friday morning to prepare for the race.

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