Under cloudy skies with cool temperatures, thousands of hopeful sportspeople stood on the starting line for the 'on your marks, get set - GO' and off they went. An event for all the family that has grown from humble kibbutz roots.

At first light on the morning of 3rd February, thousands of runners stood at the starting line, at Ein Bokek, Dead Sea, ready and willing to run the ultra marathon (the only  one of its kind in Israel) 50 km and a few minutes later the 42 km marathon.  The atmosphere was electric and runners and spectators alike were filled with excitement.  As time went on the 21 km half marathon took off to a great start with the 10 km and 5 km close behind.  Something for everyone at the Dead Sea Land Race, families, runners, walkers and parasportmen all travel to the lowest place on earth, rich in oxygen, ideal weather conditions (usually) and take part in any of the track options.  An event that has grown from one single family, members of Kibbutz Ein Gedi (situated just down the road) over 27 years ago.

Eli and Rutie Ron, founding members of Kibbutz Ein Gedi, raised their four boys on the kibbutz and dedicated themselves to sport and music which they passed onto their children.  Eli thought it would be fun and fitting to hold a half marathon event at the Dead Sea between the Ein Gedi Spa and the famous Masada heritage site and so with help from volunteers from the kibbutz a running event was born.  Tragically,  after the first event, Giora, the eldest of the four boys, fell in the first war with Lebanon.  So the event then became in memory of Giora and was held annually, growing in number of participants each time.  But then another devastion befell the family with the death by accident of Tomer the second of the four boys.  Tomer was also a dedicated runner and a great jazz musician and so the race then became dedicated to the memory of both boys.  The race became well known in Israel and gained recognition globally with runners arriving from various countries across the globe.  

First light 2

After 20 odd years the event had grown to proportions that it had to change.  The Tamar Regional Council, not wanting to see this event disappear, took control and turned it into a major event on the global marathon schedule.  This year, 2023, the council hosted the 4th Dead Sea Land marathon with participants of almost 7000, a record number, 40 different countries across the globe took part and 55% of all the runners were women.  

The event is simply stunning!  The tracks ran along the ramparts towards the border with Jordan, providing the participants with views that are second to none, an atmostphere of serenity, calm and health and a competition of pure enjoyment.  The mayor of the council, Mr. Nir Wanger cut the ribbon to start the race by saying "We continue develop the area and break records at the lowest and most beautiful marathon in the world.  The demand for the Dead Sea Land Marathon as a tourist attraction has put the event firmly on the worlds marathon schedule.  The public is invited to visit and enjoy the Israeli winter at this stunning location.  We are looking forward to breaking many more records in the future".

Jordan in view 1

All together now

Salt formations.JPG


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