Samarathon – a Very Different MTB Race


Kibbutz Samar, Mountain Goat Productions and Samar Bike Hotel in the Southern Arava region invite you for an unforgettable experience of MTB team marathon, based purely on desert trails which are unique to Israel, from the Negev region, through the Arava Valley  and all the way to Eilat Mountains. Samarathon is a three-day event, from Thursday to Saturday 16-18/2/2017 and it includes a prologue + 2 race stages in a special desert-festival atmosphere.

Desert riding is unique and may be very different from your familiar rides. You may face hot weather even in the middle of winter; no trees, vegetation or shade; sandy or loose terrain; long ascents and super-flowing singletracks with perfect traction, designed and built by riders for riders. This means that Samarathon is aimed at seasoned mountain-bikers who can endure 3 challenging riding days in desert conditions. Those facing the challenge will get to relax in the wild and awesome Riders Village with delicious food, cold drinks, fresh fruit shakes, music and more of the famous hospitality of Samar.

The MTB competition will be run at the highest standards in full partnership with the Israeli Cycling Federation: Professional timekeeping, meticulous course signing, teams of course-marshals, emergency vehicles, feed zones and media teams. Samarathon 2018 is planned to become a S2 UCI sanctioned race.

The desert riding trails are the highlight of this event. We took the absolute best of what the arid far South has to offer: Amazing singletracks, hand crafted by the Samar Bike Hotel team as part of the Israel Bike Trail, authentic Nakebs formed by ancient camel caravans, gravel and 4X4 tracks in stunning primordial vistas, heart and lung-tearing ascents and wind-swept plateaus requiring team-work or peloton skills. From all those we have created courses that will challenge you to the utmost and at the same time make you sound involuntary cries of joy…

Registration will close on 15/1 or when we reach 150 teams of 2 riders.

Riders' Village

Get Into The Desert Vibe. What is special about the Riders’ village? Let’s start from the concept. Please note that the name is Riders’ village, not Race Village. It was designed and built primarily to serve you, the riders, and not only the competition functions. Samarathon organizers love to ride hard and strong, and then, at the end of the ride, they love to feel life in its full force (Ride Hard, Live Harder, you know…): to sit with riding buddies in a comfortable, shaded place, dip in refreshing cold water, sip a few malt & hops recovery drinks or fruit smoothies with protein powder, eat great homemade food, listen to good music, relax a moment and let the desert, the freedom and the experience seep in slowly. The Riders’ Village is mainly a cool and comfy place for you. You won’t want to go anywhere else once you cross the finish line – the ideal place for a perfect après-ride experience.

Our rider’s village also includes

  • Toilets and hot showers.
  • Shaded chill-out zones
  • Dining hall & Restaurant
  •  Podium ceremonies stage
  • Live performance on Friday evening
  • Mechanical services tent
  • Bike wash
  • Secured bike parking
  • Medical services tent
  • Massages tent
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Recharging points.
  • Information and help desk.

This year you reach the riders’ village in Timna Park after the transfer from the prologue, and stay there  for 2 nights. The temperatures are going to be very low during night and early morning so be well prepared.

Samarathon accommodation: In our view, a tent in the rider village is the best thing ever. But that’s us. Those of you who need a real bed and a roof, can choose a different accommodation package during registration and sleep in one of the lodges in Kibbutzim near Timna. The number of rooms is limited.

More information on accommodation packages – here.

What awaits you? The Riders village will be open to the competitors arriving from the Prologue. Each pair of riders will be directed to their room or tent, and the village will supply all the services you will need after the prologue and before the next stages. After dinner we will hold a briefing for the next stage. After that, the village will switch to “silent mode” and will provide the riders with ideal conditions for rest. Still, ear plugs are highly recommended.

At the end of each stage an indulgent finish zone awaits you just beyond the finish line. It will feel like a real oasis after all those barren trails. You park the bike, take off your shoes, get a recovery shake in one hand and a cold beer in the other, and jump into the pool to promptly lower your temperatures. After this you find a shaded sitting spot, share heroic stories with riding comrades and joke at those who are just now finishing.

On Friday evening, a live performance by a local band, followed by dinner. The briefing for the following stage and the podium ceremony will conclude the evening.

End of the event – Saturday noon: Lunch will be served starting from 12:00 until the last showered riders. Around 13:00 we end Samarathon with a festive ceremony in which the winners of 2017 will be announced.

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