More than 35,000 runners are expected at the Tel Aviv Gillette Marathon, the same day Arabs are organizing a Global March on Jerusalem.
The marathon has no political implications and unlike the Iranian and Palestinian Authority-sponsored march to gain international recognition, the Tel Aviv event will feature entertainment and celebrations throughout the city.
Runners from around the world are making the race a true international event, with entries from Italy, Germany, France, Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Denmarkת China and the United States, among others.
American runners hail from several states, including Maryland, Connecticut, Illinois, Arizona, New York, Florida, Pennsylvania and California.
Authorities will close several streets from 5 a.m. Friday until the end of the race, the largest ever in Israel.
Competition will begin at 6:30 with a hand cycle race, followed by several marathons, including one for children.
The city is taking the opportunity to show off the “city that never stops” to tourists and advertises that there are “300 sunny days a year” in Tel Aviv. Tourism official said that more than 1.3 million visitors came to Tel Aviv in 2010 and that the city hosts six miles of beaches and 450 bars and restaurants.