In the first marathon, over 6,000 people from 49 different countries participated. And by 2009, more than 32,000 runners from 76 countries were at the start line, making the race one of the biggest running events in the region. Apart from the full marathon, there is a marathon relay, a 10K fun run, a youth run and a mother and child run.
The course, which is quite flat, takes runners through a beautiful journey of Beirut - a city full of ancient relics, modern architecture and reconstruction. Intermingled with the rich architectural heritage of medieval mosques and churches and towering skyscrapers, is the lingering memory of the civil war in the form of bullet-torn buildings along the infamous Green Line that separated west Beirut from the east.
Starting at Wafic Sinno Street, the route winds its way along the Beirut shoreline in the western tip of the city past the incredible rock formations, known as Raouché or Pigeon’s Rock, before leading participants into the Ras Beirut district and American University of Beirut campus which boasts its own private beach, a bird sanctuary and a repository of trees and shrubs.
Runners will zigzag through the city centre past the Hippodrome, and run along the Beirut River, through the northern part of the Baouchriye neighbourhood and up towards the north-eastern corner of the city before turning back through the Borj Hammoud district and into the old part of the city again. The route will take runners past historical monuments and medieval buildings allowing participants to appreciate the history of this beautiful city.
The 2010 edition saw a second win by Ethiopian Mohammed Temam win the race in 2:16:43. And the women’s race was won by Etaferehu Tarekegn also from Ethiopia with the time of 2:41:15. In 2009, Temam won the men’s race in 2:16:12, 30 seconds faster than his 2010 time. And the 2009 women’s winner was Mihret Tadesse from Ethiopia who achieved a finishing time of 2:42:41.
Do you want to run the Beirut International Marathon? Register here at the official website.
Beirut Marathon Course
If you follow this link you will find maps of the marathon course, the start and finish areas, as well as course maps for the other races.