Samarathon 2021

 

We believe that the icing on the cake during every day of this event is the riding itself! For us, at every mountain bike event, riding is the core value, the DNA, and all other activities complement the main event. Although we make considerable investment in the complementary activities, they merely add to the main objective of the Samarathon and our main investment without doubt is on the tracks.

A great track is one you return to, after the event, with your private cycling group. A track that you will recommend to other riders because it is just perfection. A track that never stops challenging your body and your mind, that constantly diversifies and twitches style, keeps you on your toes (or pedals) from dirt track, to rough terrain, uphill to downhill, from wadi to mountain and so on.

To reduce the amount of exhausting garbage miles in this event, the two long stages are in Point To Point configuration (point-to-point, without single trails), Stage 2 from Yahel to Ketura and Stage 3 from Ketura to Timna Park. Each stage entails complicated logistics and the establishment of a mobile 3 location event (Yahel, Ketura and Timna), shuttling riders and bicycles from one secure bicycle parking lot to another, but the reward is worth the supreme effort – amazing unrepeated tracks, every day bringing with it a new challenge!

We are sure that this year we have once again successfully created a unique and fantastic cycling experience that will deepen your love of the desert and passion to compete in the singles of the Arava region.

Important!! In order to maintain an innovative and adventurous Samarathon experience for participants and to provide all riders with equal opportunity, the tracks are undisclosed, until the event itself. The elevation graph can provide essential information about the distribution of effort and resources required at each stage.

 

4 Day Tracks

Stage 1 – Singles Prologue - Kibbutz Yahel - Wednesday 17.2.2021

16 km; 230 meters cumulative vertical ascent

In a festive atmosphere the competition commences with each pair of individual riders will start one minute apart northbound from the guest house on Kibbutz Yahel. The track starts with an ascent along a challenging single in Nachal Yahel, until riders reach a waterfall at the end of the river, after about 6 km. From this point, participants will continue for another 2 km along a wide tranquil and secluded valley.  

About halfway through the prologue, about 8 km from the start line, riders will complete the ascents in this short and exciting prologue, and if they look east, they can enjoy breathtaking views of the Arava Valley and the majestic Edom Mountains in all their glory. From there, riders will connect to the singles system designed and built by Valerie, one of the members of the kibbutz. Rapid descents, in a fast and undulating section, some of them quite technical, will bring riders back to the kibbutz and the finish area, where seating areas, light meals and drinks, wash-down areas and tech zones await them, alongside a secured bicycle parking lot where they can leave their bicycles safely stored until the start of the next stage.

 

Stage 2 - Point To Point - Kibbutz Yahel to Kibbutz Ketura - Thursday 18.2.2021

80 km; 1,700 meters cumulative vertical ascent; 1,800 meters cumulative vertical descent

This stage promises to be the highlight of the 2021 Samarathon, as it contains the new single from the Arava region from Kibbutz Yahel to Kibbutz Ketura. We are just as curious as you, as the details of this single will only be released at the end of December 2020.

After a rolling northbound start from Kibbutz Yahel, towards the ascent of Nahal Ya'alon, riders will return east along a fast single that connects them to the first part of the new previously mentioned single. This single route is one of the most beautifully designed in the country, promising riders an elevated experience, but one that requires great effort. This section will bring the riders to the bottom of the formidable ascent of Ma'ale Ketura, some will walk it and some will ride, and from there to the summit of Mount Ait. From there, a cluster of fast and furious tracks that include a southbound descent on the Oil Axis will connect riders to the second section of the new single, taking them back to the bottom of Ma’ale Ketura. Here the riders will change mode and will move to low altitude passing east under Route 90 and from there south along agricultural roads. In front of Kibbutz Grofit, riders will once again pass under Route 90, this time west, and connect to ‘Shaki’s’ Singles Park, (a former resident of Grofit who developed local bicycle infrastructure), ending with the "Dragon" single that will lead them to the finish line on Kibbutz Ketura, which hosts this year’s marathon for the third time.

 

Stage 3 - Point To Point - Kibbutz Ketura to Timna Park - Friday 19.2.2021

75 km; 1,850 meters cumulative vertical ascent; 1,750 meters cumulative vertical descent

Although yesterday's track is completely new, the royal title of Queen Stage of the  2021 Samarathon, is still held by this well-known phase of the competition. This stage promises - and embodies - all the good of the desert. One of the most arduous and difficult ascents in the desert and throughout the country that begins at Ma'ale Shaharut.  Two of the best sections of the Israel Bicycle Trail - Shaharut Single and Har Berech Single. A long, scenic and endless descent along Ma’ale Sayarim, abundant in landmarks leads to a refreshing surprise in the form of a new challenging cliff line single leading riders from the Zugan single track to Be’er Milhan, allowing them to elegantly skip the hard attrition roads next to Ovda army base, a section that has been a breaking point for the mental resilience of many teams in past editions.

A rolling start southbound from Kibbutz Ketura will lead the riders along fast tracks, to the arduous ascent up Ma'ale Shaharut. At the end, riders will connect to the Israel Trail Single for bicycles, which will lead us for the first time to the Nahal Zugan section in an ascent from the new single section. At the end riders will connect to  Har Berech single, descend Ma'ale Sayarim, pa a little along the Nahal Raham channel to the west, and take a short and rigorous climb that will lead us to the Nimra saddle, from which they will glide into the Cyclists Village at Timna Park Lake .

 

Stage 4 - Circular - Timna Park - Saturday 20.2.2021

52 km; 1,100 meters cumulative vertical ascent

The closing stage of the Samarathon is a stage full of singles (close to 80% of the total ride is in singles!), this is known as the traditional ‘ass burning’ end to each Samarathon!

After the start towards Nimra, in the opposite direction to the end of the previous stage, riders will ascend to the saddle above Beer Ora, descend eastbound in a rapid  and winding descent (take care!), and return via a short and painful climb to the Nimra saddle to Timna Park. This is about the end of the fast dirt tracks during this stage, and for the competitive ones among you, it is worthwhile to be placed at the top of the pack at this stage, because this is where an endless ‘singles party’ begins…

This year, our legendary track planner has mixed and matched all of Timna's singles (copper, mines, screw), some in the original direction and some in the opposite direction, so that even veteran Samarathon participants will see unfamiliar landscapes, ascend uncharted heights and face unexplored descents. Spontaneous shouts of happiness are guaranteed for riders.

 

Lite Samarathon Tracks

Stage 1 - Point To Point - Kibbutz Ketura to Timna Park - Friday 19.2.2021

75 km; 1,850 meters cumulative vertical ascent; 1,750 meters cumulative vertical descent

Although yesterday's track is completely new, the royal title of Queen Stage of the  2021 Samarathon, is still held by this well-known phase of the competition. This stage promises - and embodies - all the good of the desert. One of the most arduous and difficult ascents in the desert and throughout the country that begins at Ma'ale Shaharut.  Two of the best sections of the Israel Bicycle Trail - Shaharut Single and Har Berech Single. A long, scenic and endless descent along Ma’ale Sayarim, abundant in landmarks leads to a refreshing surprise in the form of a new challenging cliff line single leading riders from the Zugan single track to Be’er Milhan, allowing them to elegantly skip the hard attrition roads next to Ovda army base, a section that has been a breaking point for the mental resilience of many teams in past editions.

A rolling start southbound from Kibbutz Ketura will lead the riders along fast tracks, to the arduous ascent up Ma'ale Shaharut. At the end, riders will connect to the Israel Trail Single for bicycles, which will lead us for the first time to the Nahal Zugan section in an ascent from the new single section. At the end riders will connect to  Har Berech single, descend Ma'ale Sayarim, pa a little along the Nahal Raham channel to the west, and take a short and rigorous climb that will lead us to the Nimra saddle, from which they will glide into the Cyclists Village at Timna Park Lake .

 

Stage 2 - Circular - Timna Park - Saturday 20.2.2021

52 km; 1,100 meters cumulative vertical ascent

The closing stage of the Samarathon is a stage full of singles (close to 80% of the total ride is in singles!), this is known as the traditional ‘ass burning’ end to each Samarathon!

After the start towards Nimra, in the opposite direction to the end of the previous stage, riders will ascend to the saddle above Beer Ora, descend eastbound in a rapid  and winding descent (take care!), and return via a short and painful climb to the Nimra saddle to Timna Park. This is about the end of the fast dirt tracks during this stage, and for the competitive ones among you, it is worthwhile to be placed at the top of the pack at this stage, because this is where an endless ‘singles party’ begins…

This year, our legendary track planner has mixed and matched all of Timna's singles (copper, mines, screw), some in the original direction and some in the opposite direction, so that even veteran Samarathon participants will see unfamiliar landscapes, ascend uncharted heights and face unexplored descents. Spontaneous shouts of happiness are guaranteed for riders.