BEIRUT: Lebanon’s 2013 Beirut marathon kicked off Sunday morning under the slogan "Run for Lebanon," with a significant turnout amid tight security measures.

More than 36,000 participants representing 104 countries took part in the 42.192-kilometere route. The marathon started at 6:30 a.m. at BIEL and the closing ceremony will take place at Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut.

Twenty-one professional runners are among the marathon participants including the winner of the 2008 Dutch Rotterdam marathon, Kenyan William Kipsang as well as Kenyan runner Sammy Malakwen, the winner of a Bronze medal in the 2011 Beirut marathon.

Caretaker Sports and Youth Minister Faysal Karami highlighted the need to run this year given “the difficult circumstances engulfing the country.” [Link]