Overall Rating
Overall Rating (1 Review)
5
(1 Ratings)(1 Review)
DIFFICULTY
2
SCENERY
4
PRODUCTION
4
SWAG
5
The Beirut Marathon heads into its 17th year of bringing runners together from Lebanon and around the world for the greater purpose of peace and love.
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    JoJoRunner FIRST-TIMER '18

    ... and yet the race feels small. Why? Because less than 6 out of 47.5k runners actually finish the full and half marathon. Most of the runners are local families … MORE

    … and yet the race feels small. Why? Because less than 6 out of 47.5k runners actually finish the full and half marathon. Most of the runners are local families and school kids doing the 8k / fun race.

    I just got back from Lebanon and still have to sort my impressions. Many people have false impressions: the country is very welcoming but the society is diverse and partially you will see remains of the civil war next to hyper modern buildings. Beirut felt super safe to me, not even at night did I feels once unsafe. Uber is available but roaming/ finding WiFi can be troublesome in some areas.

    The marathon was founded by May al Khalil who was badly hurt when a truck struck her jogging and almost killed her. After time in coma and numerous operations she wanted to change the mindset of people and wanted to spread peace through running as well as a health message. (May even got award with a Laureus Sports Award for her engagement).

    But back to the race: the small expo (only for the half/ full and international runners) featured some races and food as well as an partially interactive show / sports lessons on stage. The race started at the waterfront in waves (full at 6:30/ half at 7am and led the runners along the corniche (promenade) into more industrial and residential areas. Many parts had “out and back” loops where you could see fellow runners racing in the different direction. Some bridges and mild up/downhills but still relatively flat (event record for men around 2:10:40). Plenty of water stops in mild temperatures (around 17-20 degrees centigrade). Some clubs and sponsors put up tents and music but not a “heavily crowd-supported race”. The finish is at martyrs square with views to St George cathedral and mosque Mohammed al amin.

    I had the honour and pleasure to be part of a “guests delegation” and met the elite runners as well as race officials and race organisers from all over the world which was super inspiring. Though there were some minor flaws in the organisation, I give the race including the experience of Beirut a 5* rating (especially knowing that everybody involved put extra power into the event after two budget cuts).

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    5
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    M_Sohaskey Nov 13, 2018 at 5:04pm

    Wow, great review Johannes, and another shining example of how — cliché though it may sound — running brings people together. Love the background of this race, and you have to… MORE

    Wow, great review Johannes, and another shining example of how — cliché though it may sound — running brings people together. Love the background of this race, and you have to believe that if a marathon can succeed in Beirut as this one has, it can succeed anywhere. I just watched May El-Khalil's TED talk from 2013, which was a compelling vision of her goals for the marathon. (Her first statement is "I come from Lebanon, and I believe that running can change the world.") So glad you left with a positive impression of the city and the event, and hopefully this race continues to succeed and inspire people around the world! LESS

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