14 require hospitalization, many more need medical treatment, in what is becoming an annual tradition that has already cost two lives.
The winner of the 2016 Tel Aviv marathon has already been determined, but in what is becoming an annual tradition, a number of participants have come down feeling ill, with no fewer than 14 requiring hospitalization.
Magen David Adom (MDA) forces together with medical teams from Ichilov Hospital gave medical treatment to the 14 runners who suffered heat stroke, fatigue and chest pains, before evacuating them to Ichilov Hospital, Wolfson Medical Center and Sheba Hospital.
Throughout the race MDA teams also provided treatment to a number of runners at medical tents set up over the length of the course, after they felt ill, got dehydrated, fainted and suffered light injuries. After receiving treatment at the tents they were released without requiring further treatment.
Around 40,000 runners took part in the marathon, which was won for the second time in a row by William Kiprono Yegon of Kenya. Yegon finished with a time of 2:10:51 on the full 42.2 kilometer (over 26 mile) course.
The full-length marathon with 2,500 runners kicked off at 7 a.m. in the north of the coastal city, and shortly afterwards runners taking part in the shorter half marathon, ten-kilometer course and five-kilometer course began their run, as did those taking part in the handbike race.
Runners from around 60 countries took part in the race, with the oldest participant being aged 92-years-old. Over 350,000 portions of water were prepared for the participants, along with around 40,000 apples and bananas and 100,000 dates. Around 4,000 police officers and security personnel were stationed throughout the length of the course.
The Tel Aviv marathon has caused numerous casualties over the years. In 2011 David Shlomovitz (40) of Jerusalem died while running a half marathon. Then in 2013 Michael Michaelovich (29) of Moshav Menuha in the south died, likewise while running the half marathon, and dozens of others needed medical treatment.
After the second death the Health Ministry organized a committee that recommended canceling such events if the temperature rose above 28° C (82.4° F).
But in 2014 dozens of runners again required medical treatment, and in 2015 the marathon was stopped midway because of a heat wave after MDA teams treated 90 runners, with three of them in serious condition from heat stroke.