Filipino marathoner wins free trip to Israel, will join Tel-Aviv race in 2022

Published March 19, 2021, 4:02 PM

by Roy Mabasa

A novice Filipino marathoner who created a self-video while running around the historic Intramuros and Rizal Park has won a round-trip ticket to Israel and a free entry to the prestigious Tel Aviv Samsung Marathon 2022. 

Jervis John Salvador Tel Aviv Marathon Video Winner (Photo from Israel Ministry of Tourism / MANILA BULLETIN)

The three-and-a-half-minute video of Jervis John Salvador was chosen among the other entries from 33 different countries that vied for the recently concluded digital edition of the 2021 Samsung Marathon event hosted by the Tel Aviv-Yafo Municipality.

A representative from Israel’s Ministry of Tourism in Manila said more than 20,000 runners from 33 countries participated in the innovative and digital marathon. 

Runners worldwide were encouraged to submit videos and photos of their participation in the digital marathon to vie for free flights sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism and an entry to next year’s marathon event in Tel-Aviv. 

Salvador expressed his elation when informed about his winning in the video competition, and for representing the Philippines in the virtual marathon.

“It’s impressive for the Israelis to come up with a unique marathon competition that, despite banned air travels, lockdowns, and a dreaded pandemic, we showed to the world that we can still be together, united with meaningful purpose. I am thankful for the opportunity to join and truly grateful for being chosen as winner of the Feet Abroad, Hearts in Tel Aviv challenge. I’m excited and look forward to joining other runners all over the world in Tel Aviv in next year’s marathon. Salvador said.

Marathon enthusiasts from countries like Israel, the United Arab Emirates, the United States, United Kingdom, Russia, Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Italy and the Philippines broke down borders and time zones to overcome the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic by joining the digital edition of the Tel Aviv event.

“We are delighted to announce that a Filipino won the ‘Feet Abroad, Heart in Tel Aviv’ challenge among all the participants around the world. We hope to welcome Filipinos soon in Israel but in the meantime let us all be safe and healthy,” said Sammy Yahia, director for India and the Philippines of the Israel Ministry of Tourism.

Yahia said preparations are already underway for next year’s marathon which will take place on February 25 2022  in Tel Aviv-Yafo.

The Tel Aviv Marathon is a major sporting event held in Israel held in February of every year.