The world’s only intercontinental footrace, the 42nd Istanbul Marathon started on Sunday with attendance of limited 4,000 athletes due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The marathon started at 9 a.m. local time [0600GMT] on the European side of the metropolis and will end at the same point, with the runners crossing the Bosphorus bridge twice for the first time in the event’s history.

This year’s starting point of the marathon is the Yenikapi Event Venue on the European side, instead of the July 15 Martyrs Bridge on the Asian side.

The runners will cross the bridge offering a spectacular view of the Bosphorus and tour many historic sites, including the Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia.

Coronavirus measures

The athletes will run to finish 42 kilometers (26 miles) on a pandemic-special track.

The safe area application is implemented for the first time as part of coronavirus measures.

The runners and employees entered the area with a code from Hayat Eve Sigar, a mobile application designed to minimize the virus risk.

In addition to this event, a virtual race is organized for 5 km (3.1 mi), 10 km (6.2 mi) and 15 km (9.3 mi) with the slogan “Run Alone With Us.” Participants could register online for it and complete their distance at any place. But there is a quota limitation due to coronavirus measures.

The Istanbul Marathon is organized by the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality and Spor Istanbul, and sponsored by N Kolay Payment Institution, a subsidiary of Aktif Investment Bank.

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