Thousands warned to cross continents ‘carefully’ in Istanbul Marathon

Thousands warned to cross continents ‘carefully’ in Istanbul Marathon

Thousands warned to cross continents ‘carefully’ in Istanbul Marathon

The Istanbul Marathon is dubbed as the only inter-continental marathon in the world and for thousands, the highlight of the day is the fun run, where racing enthusiasts participate in an amateur eight-kilometer course crossing. DAILY NEWS photo, Hasan ALTINIŞIK

Thousands will cross continents as part of the Vodafone Istanbul Marathon on Nov. 17, but they are urged to keep within the speed limits. An estimated 100,000 sports enthusiasts are expected to participate in the fun run as part of marathon festivities, and cross the Bosphorus Bridge in the world’s only intercontinental race.

However, with television footage showing that the bridge shook during the same race two years ago, officials urged participants to avoid running while on the bridge. 

Transport, Maritime and Communications Minister Binali Yıldırm said: “There is a risk of resonance when people run over it collectively,” adding that it would lead to the collapse of of the bridge. 

“That’s the theory, that’s the physical part of it. We have to consider it even if there is one thousandth of a chance,” Yıldırım said. “In order to avoid it, we will take people on the bridge within groups and it will be crossed by walking, not by running.” 

Most participants of the eight-kilometer fun run already pass the bridge by walking, since crossing the bridge on foot has mostly been the most attractive part of the competition. 

On the competitive side, 20,000 will compete in the 10-kilometer, 15-kilometer event and the marathon.

In its 35th year, the marathon’s name was changed to Istanbul Marathon instead of Eurasia Marathon, a title which was symbolizing the race’s uniquely inter-continental character. 

However, the organizers said they changed the name to make the race more identifiable with the city when mentioned abroad– referring to other iconic marathons around the world named after the city they take place in. 

The event starts at 9 a.m. at Altunizade in Üsküdar and the marathon starts 300 meters before the Bosphorus Bridge at 9 a.m.

The race routes will be closed to traffic between 6 a.m. and 2 p.m. on Sunday, with the Metrobus to not be in operation within the same period, either.