Tel Aviv marathon halted after 2 hospitalized

Organizers cut annual race short due to high temperatures; close to 90 runners treated by medics on site

Runners in the 2015 Tel Aviv marathon, February 27, 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)
Runners in the 2015 Tel Aviv marathon, February 27, 2015 (screen capture: YouTube)

The annual Tel Aviv marathon was halted Friday morning because of high temperatures that saw two people hospitalized in serious condition, possibly due to heatstroke.

Almost 90 others required treatment for less-severe incidences of heatstroke as well as bruises and other ailments, in the race that drew in around 30,000 participants.

The event started at 6 a.m. and should have ended at 1 p.m., but was cut short at around 10 a.m. after organizers, in consultation with the municipality and police, decided that temperatures were no longer adequately safe.

The two men, in their 30s, collapsed during the race and required resuscitation by medics before being rushed to the hospital. It was not yet clear whether they were affected by the heat or suffered from underlying heart conditions.

Four other people were evacuated to the hospital in moderate condition due to the unseasonal heat.

Safety regulations for outdoor sporting events were toughened in recent years after 29-year-old Michael Michaelovitch died during a half marathon in Tel Aviv. Following that incident, a committee of experts recommended that events be halted if temperatures rise above 28 degrees Celsius (82.4 degrees Fahrenheit).

Tel Aviv’s streets, many of which had been closed off to facilitate the event, were all reopened by noon.

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