Man dies, dozens in hospital from heat at Tel Aviv Marathon races

(JTA) — One man died and as many as 12 people suffered serious medical complications during Tel Aviv Marathon-connected races despite government warnings of extremely hot weather.

The municipality cut short Friday’s races of 13 and 6.2 miles. The full 26-mile marathon was postponed to March 22 because of the severe heat; the race is still set to be run.

According to Army Radio, the man, in his 30s, died Friday as a result of heat exhaustion and possibly dehydration — the two causes that sent a total of about 30 runners to hospitals. Army Radio said 12 were in serious condition, while Israel Radio listed three.

The Health Ministry advised runners to stop running after 8.30 a.m. because of the heat, but many of the 35,000 who had gathered to run pressed on in the event’s two courses. Due to the oppressive heat, the starting times of the races had been moved to much earlier.

Shortly after medical teams reported serious cases, the city canceled the event, which was held in humid conditions and a temperature of roughly 97 degrees. Average daytime temperatures in Tel Aviv in March are around 66 degrees.

Army Radio also quoted Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai as saying that President Obama’s scheduled visit to Israel next week made it impossible to postpone the event.

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