A Totally Different MTB Race March 01-04 2023 Timna Park, Southern Arava





Aviram Frige

 Samarathon 2023


The Samarathon is due to take place on 1th - 4th March 2023 . The Samarathon – known as one of the best desert mountain bike marathons in the world, is a multi-stage desert doubles race that takes place over 4 days in the southern Arava.

Along with the full Samarathon, which consists of four stages (competition days), participants can enjoy this year’s Lite-Samarathon, a compact version of the competition with two full stages (Friday and Saturday), established especially for  those who are unable to attend the full 4 day competition. As in recent years, a full one-day stage competition will also be available, and we will update the details at a later date.

The Samarathon is a unique desert mountain race that takes place entirely in the southern Arava region, offering participants some of the best trail infrastructure in the world. Approximately 60% of the cycling during the competition is along unique desert singles, some meticulously thought out, custom built trails, and investment by huge construction teams from the most experienced and skilled in the world, and even some paved by historical camel caravans that traded along the Incense Route for centuries. The Samarathon promises participants challenging trails with a backdrop of outstanding landscapes and some of the most beautiful and unique geological features in the world. Renowned international competitors and cycling journalists from world-renowned magazines and websites, defined the Samarathon singles in the Southern Arava and Timna Park as the most beautiful singles in the world, and the southern Arava region as a top ten riding destination.


New Tracks  

This year's Samarathon tracks collection is one of the best yet, promising even devout participants, who have previously competed in all past editions of this unique competition will enjoy many innovations, pristine trails and brand-new stages!

This year participants will enjoy completely new sections of trail, including a prologue in a completely new area "Sovev Yahel". A new and pristine stage of the competition built with a huge investment by the Eilot Economic Development Company by the team that especially built the Timna mines and copper singles in preparation for the 2021 Samarathon. These tracks will be officially launched at the event, "Yahel - Ketura", a new section that eliminates the grueling attrition section from Ovda army base to Be’er Milchan. To round up the competition Yoni Adler – manager of the competition, promises participants an unforgettable singles trail at Timna Park – a trail such as you have never known before.

The Samarathon slogan has always been ‘Ride Hard, Live Harder’ and in Hebrew ‘Ride Hard, Live Stronger and this year’s event ensures participants will literally experience this slogan word for word! The competition offers participants a professional desert 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, tech-zones offering a wide range of services by teams from Shimano Israel, Joe's No Flats and Race, distributor of SPECIALIZED bicycles in Israel and Powered By – the sponsor of the event. Additionally, secured cycle parking, equipment wash-down area, a Matzman- Merutz pop-up store with all the equipment participants may need during the event.   Timing and judging by the Israel Cycling Association and the UCI Bicycle Association.

On completion of each grueling stage, connect to the liberating unique vibe of the Arava desert, 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 along with a range of accommodation packages. Enjoy our yoga complex, cyclists’ pub, lakeside and tent chill out zone on the banks of Timna lake, massage complex and more – all open-air and spread out, at a distance from each other to meet Purple Label regulations.

The Samarathon is intended for skilled riders, those seeking a rigorous competition,  (full Samarathon) and those who prefer an easier challenge (Lite -Samarathon or one-day competition). Samarathon is designed for skilled 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. The two-day Lite- Samarathon is an affordable option, 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, and an abundance of single trails, surrounded by breathtaking scenery in the heart of the desert.

Sporting Events in the Corona Era

This is not an easy time for event and competition organizers. Covid-19 has interrupted plans for all of us in so many ways, and the map of outdoor sports events in Israel and around the world has changed accordingly. Some events have been  cancelled or postponed, pro-tour races held with masks, races with capsules of 20 riders, podium ceremonies and briefings on YouTube channels without a physical audience and more…

The Samarathon is a large and complex production, but the desert has taught us to be flexible and deal with any situation imposed upon us, effectively and safely. In the past we had to deal with heavy floods that washed out the tracks on the morning of the event, rainstorms alongside severe heat waves, economic cuts and now, the Covid-19 pandemic. Our veteran and skilled production team is ready to face the Covid -19 limitations and conduct a proper race whilst adhering to them.

The production team, members of the Eilot Regional Economic Development Company, Eilot Regional Council and the various accommodation sites in the area, are all determined and prepared to hold the competition in the manner to which we are accustomed and at the same time comply with the authorities' guidelines.

We are in constant contact with the relevant parties and are attentive to their changing conditions. Every detail of the event, from the start of each stage, serving of food at the ‘refueling’ stations along the tracks and in the Cyclists’ Village, to the various accommodation arrangements will all be made in accordance with the Purple Label regulations, and without impinging on the unique Samarathon spirit.


Cancellation Due to Covid-19 - and Refunds

In the event that the 2021 Samarathon is later canceled due to government guidelines and restrictions related to the Covid -19 pandemic (e.g. nationwide lockdown, declaration of the Southern Arava as a red zone), participants’ registration fees will be refunded with appropriate deductions in the following manner:

Until 19.10 – participants will be refunded with the transaction amount minus 5% of the transaction value, clearing fee (billing and credit).

As of 20.10 (date of production of the participants’ shirts) - the participant will be refunded with the transaction amount minus for 5% of the transaction value, clearing fee (billing and credit), and minus 229 NIS, for the cost of the participant's professional riding shirt, manufactured by Jinga, that will be sent to each participant by mail.

So, what's the bottom line? Samarathon 2021 will take place, in a slightly different format, especially before the start of the competition, at the ‘refueling’ stations and after crossing the daily finish line. The beating heart of the Samarathon, riding in the amazing desert along some of the best and most challenging trails in the world - remains unchanged.

Find a teammate,


Find a teammate
Sign up
Train hard 
Enjoy some beers 
And we will see you at the starting line on
March 02 2023!