19,851 set to race through Tel Aviv
Nike at nite

19,851 set to race through Tel Aviv

Almost 20,000 sign up for city's Nike Night Run mega-race

Runners at Rabin Square during the 2011 Nike Night Run (photo credit: Meir Partush/Flash90)
Runners at Rabin Square during the 2011 Nike Night Run (photo credit: Meir Partush/Flash90)

Tel Aviv’s Ibn Gabirol Street is set to be the scene of quite a spectacle Tuesday evening — as 19,851 men and women (or 39,702 pairs of feet) — pound its pavement in the 2012 Nike Night Run.

The race kicks off around 8 p.m., but streets will be blocked off from 5 p.m. Starting at Rabin Square in central Tel Aviv, participants will run north on the normally packed Ibn Gabirol Street, then on to Rokach Boulevard alongside Hayarkon Park, ending up at the Tel Aviv North Sportek.

In the 2011 Nike Night Run, held on November 1, participants sported yellow dri-fit Nike tees and ran a similar route. The broad-laned boulevards were a sea of yellow as some 16,000 runners raced through  downtown Tel Aviv.

This year’s shirts are black.

The race’s website also incorporated social media as a means of motivating the up-and-coming track stars. For example, one webpage featured the participants who received most “cheers.”

The site also promoted three types of goals for participants: lead the front, set a new personal record, and finish a 10K race. (Runners also got a 20 percent discount on Nike apparel through November 1.)

The race’s four heats are divided by approximately the amount of time the participant estimated it would take them to complete the race — unlike the registration method used in the 2012 Tel Aviv Marathon, in which the earlier of the two heats was filled up by early-bird registrants and the second heat by those who signed up later.

The website advised people, for example, that if they want to run with their friends, that they should choose the “lowest time” and run in that heat.

Both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv feature annual marathons that include shorter races such as a half marathons and 10Ks; with the beach-front venue generally drawing a larger crowd.

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