Israel’s first marathon is warming up on the starting line for the 43rd time!
Tiberias Marathon, the race that paved the way for Israel’s booming running culture, offers a fast and flat course, running alongside views of the Sea of Galilee and the surrounding green mountains in a celebration that doesn’t stop for 42.2 kilometers.
Tiberias “Winner” Marathon has been for decades a springboard for many runners to their next long run, and has been chosen by thousands of runners as the preferred course for their first full marathon or half marathon, due to the convenient route and the pleasant atmosphere.
Come with us to experience the marathon of the marathons in Israel!
The history of Tiberias Marathon
The idea of organizing an international marathon around the Sea of Galilee began back in 1975, in conversations between coach Ilya Bar-Ze’ev and the Secretary of the Athletics Committee at the time, David Eiger. In those days, the very thought of this was pretentious, given that in the previous four decades there were less than 20 marathons in Israel, and only one of them had over 8 finishers… In the world as well, the full marathon race did not enjoy the popularity we know today. The London and Berlin marathons were not yet born, and the New York Marathon was still in its infancy.
The idea came to fruition in 1977, when many more partners came together, a steering committee was established, and the regional councils of the Jordan Valley and Lower Galilee also joined in.
It was decided that the event would take place on December 31st 1977, along a route from Kfar Nahum to Ein Gev. Even the most optimistic did not expect to see 99 runners from seven countries on the starting line, nor did they expect the winner from Germany Vera Dornbacher to run faster than 2:20 hours. British runner Max Colby finished second, while Yair Karni was crowned the Israeli champion. Zehava Shmueli was the first Israeli woman to ever to run a marathon, and finished 19th overall! Israel television even broadcasted a 50-minute story about the event. Since then 42 marathons have been launched in Tiberias, and now we invite you to join us at the 43rd edition of Tiberias “Winner” Marathon.