Winner of 2017 Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon: Ethiopia’s Gezu Belete Mekonen

An Ethiopian runner won the 2017 Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon today. However, he did not break the record set last year by a Kenyan runner. 40,000 runners participated in the highly anticipated event in the city.

Watch: Runners take off this morning in Tel Aviv

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40,000 runners from all over Israel and around the world made their way to the Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon starting line this morning (Friday) for the country’s largest sporting event of the year. In addition to the runners, 150,000 spectators cheered along the sidelines of the routes throughout the city.

Gezu Belete Mekonen of Ethiopia won this year’s marathon with a time of 02:12:12. The Ethiopian failed to beat the time set last year by Kenya’s William Kiprono Yagon (2:10:30). The Tel Aviv Municipality had set aside a prize of $40,000 for any runner who completed the marathon in under 2:07:59. According to the municipality, the same prize will be offered next year.

Gezu Belete Mekonen Photo Credit: Ronen Topelberg

Today’s race offered six routes that passed through the popular city: the marathon (42.195 km), the half marathon (21 km), a 10k race, a 5k race, a hand-cycle race for athletes with special needs and two mini-courses for children (420m and 1k).

2,500 runners ran today’s full marathon, 12,000 ran the half marathon, 19,000 ran the 10K, 5,000 ran the 5K and 2,000 children ran the mini-courses. 100 hand-cyclists participated in the hand-cycle race. 21 stages of DJs and bands were set up along the routes, providing great music for the runners.

The annual Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon is a huge Israeli running event that attracts many foreign elite runners. The Tel Aviv Municipality has already announced the dates for the three upcoming Tel Aviv Samsung Marathons: 23.02.2018, 22.02.2019 and 21.02.2020.

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