- Title: Tens of thousands take part in Beirut international marathon
- Date: 13th November 2016
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (NOVEMBER 13, 2016) (REUTERS) VARIOUS OF MARATHON STARTING POINT STARTING POINT BANNER READING (English): 'BLOM BANK BEIRUT MARATHON' VARIOUS OF PEOPLE WARMING UP BEFORE RACE
- Embargoed: 28th November 2016 13:22
- Keywords: Beirut marathon run special needs sport competition race
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Marathon,Sport
- Reuters ID: LVA00158A0QJ9
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Nearly 50,000 runners took to the streets of Beirut on Sunday (November 13) to take part in the 14th edition of the Beirut International Marathon, organisers said.
Participants travelled from far and wide - approximately 100 countries according to the Beirut Marathon Association.
Many of Beirut's streets were closed off to make way for runners.
This year's marathon slogan was 'Run, for the Long Run', encouraging participants to run for various charitable causes.
"What's special this year is that our numbers are way more than expected, and this goes back to the Lebanese developing a jogging and running culture. As well as running for a cause, many causes are being run for today, around 195 associations have signed with the Beirut Marathon Association an agreement of understanding. We are telling the participants that they can run to support these associations that goes from the participation fees of Beirut Marathon," said the president of the Beirut Marathon Association, May El-Khalil.
Khalil added that sport unifies people and runners had travelled across the globe because of a belief in 'peace and love'.
Prime minister-designate Saad El Harriri was among those taking part in the event, showing his support to athletic events.
"I think that shows how much Lebanon is considered trustworthy amongst people, and to the youth I say, this is how we see Lebanon, people should be athletic, keep running and look forward. Hopefully like this marathon we will have many other events where Lebanon will be successful," said Hariri.
Runners taking part said it was a great opportunity to bring the city together.
"I am really happy, I usually run so this is really entertaining for all of us, it's been a good day with my friends here we made a campaign raising funds for a children's cancer centre, we hope that it helped, and the day was great, honestly," said Choukri Haddad, a participant in the half-marathon category.
People with special needs were also a big part of the event, with many saying they were able to enjoy it just as much as the more able bodied runners.
"It's very nice marathon, very nice place and a good course for me, going up and down, up and down. I am so happy I win second time in marathon in Beirut," said Polish runner Rafal Wilk, winner of the special needs category.
The annual event includes a family one-kilometre 'run with parents', five and 10 kilometre runs, a fun run a half marathon and a full marathon run of 42 kilometres.
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