A Totally Different MTB Race February 17-20, 2021 Timna Park, Southern Arava





MARC GASCH    www.marcgasch.com

Samarathon 2020

Samarathon, a desert bike marathon with multiple single tracks will be held for the sixth time in February 2020 at Timna Park in the Eilot region of the Arava. The 2020 competition offers participants two riding options:

UCI Samarathon for professional cyclists who wish to accumulate UCI points for world rankings and the 4-stage Tokyo Olympics.

Two-Day Samarathon, a large, intricate doubles marathon competition for skilled cyclists who are epic riding addicts, including some of the world’s finest single tracks and dynamic and unparalleled after event ambience.

4 Days UCI Samarathon

A 4-day S2 mountain biking competition (in stages), suitable for professional cyclists collecting World Rankings for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. This competition starts two days before the two-day Samarathon, and is run jointly with the Israel Bicycle Association and the UCI, International Bicycle Association.

• Stage 1 - Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Prologue at Timna Park - 11 km along 170 meters of a cumulative vertical ascent. Individual start for each team with 2-minute intervals.

• Stage 2 - Thursday, February 20, 2020

Short Cross-Country Course Competition through Timna Park - 1.4 km long, 10 laps (subject to change).

• Stage 3 - Friday, February 21, 2020

Point -To- Point from Kibbutz Ketura to Timna Park, 71.5 km on 1,050 meters of cumulative vertical ascent (identical to the two-day course).

• Stage 4 - Saturday, February 22, 2020  

Timna Park Loop, 51 km along a 850 meter cumulative vertical ascent.

Although the UCI Samarathon is designed for competitive cyclists with a UCI license, this 4 day competition is open to any pair of cyclists who have valid health declaration  and personal accident insurance for competitive sports. The Long Samarathon (4 days) is a great platform serving as a training camp and as a last ‘blast’ before the competitive season. In order to maximize the potential for UCI competitors, we are partnering with the Sunshine Cup and Sunshine Epic events that are scheduled to take place in Cyprus exactly one week after the Samarathon. Discounted combo packages and discount airline tickets will be offered at a later date.

Two-day Samarathon

The main theme of this year's Samarathon will be a two-day doubles marathon:

• Stage 1 - Friday, February 21, 2020

Point -To- Point from Kibbutz Ketura to Timna Park, 71.5 km along a 1,050 meter cumulative vertical ascent.

Stage 2 - Saturday, February 22, 2020

Timna Park Loop, 51 km along a 850 meter cumulative vertical ascent.

The Samarathon slogan is " Ride Hard, Live Harder " and this is something participants will literally experience!  Participating in a professional mountain bike competition, with spectacular and challenging routes, at a highly competitive and professional level including a full-service package with ‘refueling’ stations en-route. Teams of photographers, medical teams, equipment wash-down area, tech-zones, secure cycle parking, timing and judging by the Israel Cycling Association and the UCI Bicycle Association. Additionally, on completion of each grueling stage, connect to the unique vibe of the desert, the wilderness of the Arava and the enchantment of Timna Park. Immerse yourself in some well-earned recovery options for body and soul, available exclusively at our Cyclist’s Village. Enjoy our yoga complex, cyclists’ pub, lakeside and tent chill out zone, massage complex and more.

Referring back to ‘’Ride Hard, Live Harder’’, Samarathon is designed for skilled and powerful cyclists who can enjoy both of these worlds, cycling and life (followed by a refreshing beer)! This event is tailor made to suit competitors seeking a multi-day competitive event to start the racing season. As a multi-day event, prices are affordable, making participation relatively easy on the pocket as well as on your family and work, as participation in this event does not require months of pre-practice in order to successfully master the cycling tracks.

While, in most parts of the country, it is rainy and muddy, not to mention the cold winters that dominate Europe and North America, the Arava region offers the perfect climate for Samarathon participants. The ability to ride in light  clothing, with sunglasses and even sunscreen, along beautiful tracks surrounded by breathtaking scenery in the  heart of the desert, along routes designed by riders for riders, often incorporating the trails used by camel caravans  for centuries.

Although the Samarathon limited form is short with just 2 competitive stages, each is equally challenging and beautiful, and will test your personal limits. The desert routes will ably test both you and your equipment. However,  as mentioned, at the end of the ride as you pass the finish line, hop off your bike, rest it on one of the many palm trees, take off your shirt (if you are a guest from northern Europe…), grab a refreshing and well-earned glass of beer (the first one is on us(!) and choose a spot to relax and unwind on the shore of Timna Lake- a true desert oasis. Did we mention that at the finish line, you will also receive a protein shake?

The desert is known for its silent strength and healing powers, which slowly envelope you both during riding and recovery, so relax in one of our chill out corners, enjoy the tranquility and sense of calmness, that only the desert can truly offer you.

• The 2-day Samarathon offers several full board accommodation packages, from the moment the event kicks off until you return home.

• Accommodation & Dinner can be added to the basic package on Thursday (20.2.2020) enabling you to head off southbound  without any pressure.

• Cyclists who choose to arrive directly for the kick-off on Friday must reach Kibbutz Ketura on Friday morning with their vehicles and bikes. Organizers will drop cyclists off to  pick up their vehicles from the finish line at Timna Lake with shuttle buses.

• Cyclists arriving on Thursday are asked to deposit their bikes in Kibbutz Ketura's secure bicycle park on arrival, before arriving at their accommodation.

• For cyclists who prefer to stay longer than two days in the region and of course for those cyclists arriving from overseas, Timna Bike Park's highly skilled local cycling instructors offer the opportunity to join guided cycling in the area two days previous to the competition.

• Each participant must present a valid and recent health declaration and competitive sports personal accident insurance as a condition to register. Suitable insurance can be purchased from Nistel Insurance, recommended by us (+972-4-6322224; info@nistel.co.il).


Find a partner 
Train hard 
Drink beers 
See ya on Feb 19th!