Thousands to run for Istanbul’s cross-continental marathon
The world’s only intercontinental marathon and placed in the gold category by World Athletics, the event will allow athletes from all around the world to run around the city’s many historic sites, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.
Last year’s race had seen a dramatic reduction in the average number of runners due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but around 40,000 participants are expected to compete in this year’s run.
Participants will compete in three categories including the full 42-kilometer marathon, a shorter 15-kilometer race and a public run, which will be held on an 8-kilometer route.
The main stage will start near the Asian side of the July 15 Martyrs Bridge on the Bosphorus and will end at the historic Sultanahmet Square.
The 15-kilometer marathon will start on the bridge and will end at Yenikapı Square, a large open-air space on the European side, usually reserved for political rallies.
The public run will start from Altunizade district on the Asian side and end near Dolmabahçe Palace, an Ottoman-era palace on the European side.
A companion smartphone app for the marathon will measure the distance covered and allow the runners to log an official time.
Athletes who finish the race under six hours and 20 minutes in the 42-kilometer marathon and under two hours and 15 minutes in the 15-kilometer will be awarded their medals at the end of the race.
Since the July 15 Martyrs Bridge and certain main arterial roads will be closed to traffic, some public transportation services, including metrobus, will also be suspended until 1:00 p.m.