BEIRUT: The Beirut Marathon Association announced at a ceremony held at Dora’s City Mall Thursday that the 2010 Marathon would take place on November 7.
The Beirut Marathon Association took over the entire bottom floor of the City Mall with viewing stands, advertising and an standard IAAF 60-meter running track.
The track was set up to accommodate eight races run by Lebanese junior, senior and veteran runners as well as sponsors and the media in a bid to break the Lebanese 60-meter record.
Race organizer Mark Dickenson told The Daily Star that he expects the 2010 race to be the biggest yet.
“We started off five years ago with only 6,000 runners moving up to 12,000 the next year before eventually achieving 33,000 last year and we expect that upward trend to continue this year.”
Long-time ambassador and esteemed explorer Maxime Chaya was also present at the unveiling as he plans to take on a greater role in 2010.
“The Marathon gets everyone together regardless of beliefs,” Chaya told The Daily Star. “This year I will be running the marathon and leading the fund-raising issues so I plan to start fund raising as of today.
Though he has a long-history of marathon running and was a one-time Lebanese record holder, his main focus is raising money and support for the Beirut Marathon’s nine charities.
“I train all the time whether it is running or biking but I’m not aiming to break my record, I want to take it nice and easy, come under four hours and hopefully raise lots of money,” Chaya said.
The 60-meter sprints attracted hundreds of spectators as well as a raft of sponsors, sportsmen and ministers including BLOM Bank president Saad Azhari, Lebanese marathon record holder Hussein Awada and Youth and Sports Minister Ali Abdullah.
The mapped course is yet to be released by the association with the main route likely to be published next week.
The Beirut Marathon is an annual event that drew nearly 33,000 runners last December covering varying distances from 10 kilometers to the traditional 42 kilometers.