The 542 Program is a community-based initiative created by the Beirut Marathon Association whose purpose is to transform first time runners into marathoners. In the summer of 2014 the program launched with over 70 runners training to run 42km for the first time ever. Teams were created with 6 different coaches and by November 9, the day of the Beirut Marathon, 38 542 runners crossed the finish line. In 2015, the program grew to 120 runners who eventually wound down to 66 dedicated runners with 65 finishing their first ever marathon on November 8, 2015.

In the Summer of 2016 we had 5 coaches who were ready to train anyone who was willing to take up the challenge. Included in the training program was the Beirut Marathon Half Marathon, where runners were coached to run half the distance.

On November 13, 155 runners crossed the finish line which was considered a milestone in their training.

Some of these runners started with no previous running experience, some who have never ran outdoors, some are 18 years old, and some are 64 years old. But one thing they had in common was that they never ran a marathon before.

In the world of distance running, commitment is key. Marathon day is the result of intensive weeks of training, sore muscles, bumpy feet, and exhaustion. Training is a journey of self-discovery: at times it becomes unpleasant as you log more Kilometers during the run and your body refuses to go the extra mile, yet your mind is determined to make it happen.

However, the team and the community have been proven to make this journey go smoother: training with a team is known to decrease anxiety levels and boost confidence at times of doubt. That is really the power of 542: It gathers people from different backgrounds and breaks through barriers. It brings experienced runners and aspiring runners together as solid groups, or rather as new running communities, who are forging friendships that motivate and empower individuals.

Join the program, take on the challenge... Run a Marathon
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  • Runners must be 17 years old or older.

  • Runners cannot belong to a running club.

  • Runners cannot have won a 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in any running race.

  • Runners must train 3 times per week; however, they can train more with the guidance of their coaches.

  • Runners and coaches must be present for the long runs on Sundays, and they will have the same training. Training starts at 6:30 AM.

  • Runners and coaches must wear the 542 t-shirts for the Sunday trainings.

  • Runners are expected to wear the 542 t-shirts for the BMA Half Marathon and for the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon on November 12. 2017.

  • Runners must agree to the following: The 542 Organizers reserve the right to use any photographs (including those of participants), motion pictures, recordings, or any other media records of the Event, for any legitimate purpose including commercial advertising and distribution to Sponsors anywhere in the world.

  • Runners must complete a cardiac screening, which will be provided by the BMA.

  • Runners must agree to join WhatsApp groups set up by their coaches for communication for their running teams.

  • Runners of all nationalities are welcome to join 542.

  • Runners will train and run the BLOM Bank Beirut Marathon and Half Marathon under their responsibility.

  • Runners will understand if 542 Training program must be canceled under extenuating circumstances.

  • The 542 Training program is free of charge; however, applicants are required to pay for their registration fee for the BLOM BANK Beirut Marathon 2017 on Nov 12.

  • The 542 Coaches are not professional trainers but are experienced runners who are volunteering their time and effort for this program.

  • 542

    Contact the BMA offices for Registration Info or in case you have any questions.

    Registration form:

    Registration is now closed.