As a community-based program, “542” relies on its experienced volunteer coaches who dedicate their time to train runners in different areas of Lebanon. “542” witnessed 6 previous editions (2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019) which shaped a total of 609 marathon finishers who filled the heart of Beirut with happy faces, positive energy and shiny medals.

The 542-training journey consists of intensive training of sore muscles, exhaustion, recovery, self-discovery, nutrition plans, physical/mental wellbeing activities, injury prevention webinars and more. The “542” structure has proven to make this journey, which might first sound unbearable, go much smoother as training with a team is known to decrease anxiety levels and boost confidence at times of doubt.

“542” is more than a training program and a race, it’s a culture that shows to anyone in the community that an extreme goal is achievable given the correct training and the right support.
Beyond that, 542 is about bringing people of different ages, religions and social status, together as teams, working towards a common goal. That is the cornerstone of the program, it gathers diverse people forging friendships that motivate and empower individuals while breaking through social barriers present in our community.

What “542” creates is always remembered by the finishers and everyone who got to experience everything about the journey to 42.195 KM. Once a marathoner, always a marathoner.

The 542 code

  • 542ers PERSEVERE
  • 542ers INSPIRE others
  • 542ers are always UNITED
  • 542ers EMBRACE the challenge
  • 542ers RESPECT the environment
  • 542ers LEAVE NO runners behind
  • 542ers push their minds and bodies TO THE LIMIT
  • 542ers are future MARATHONERS
  • 542ers COMMIT to change
General Regulations

Selection Criteria

  • This program will be offered in the following regions: Beirut, Jounieh, Dbayeh, Fanar Saida, Brummana, Tripoli, Joub Jennine, Tyre
  • Runners must be 17 years or older
  • Runners cannot have run internationally or locally a marathon (distance of 42.10 KM) previously
  • The 542-training program is a free program; however, participants are required to pay for their registration fee for the Beirut International Marathon 2021
  • No refund policy upon the marathon registration
  • If any of the conditions mentioned above is not met, the applicant registration shall be discounted

Training conditions

  • Runners must train 3 times per week. However, they can train more with the guidance of their coaches
  • Runners must commit to the 542 timeline which consists of attending weekly trainings, Sunday long runs, races and meetings
  • Runners must commit to participate in official 542 questionnaires and surveys intended to improve the program
  • The 542 Organizers reserve the right to use any photographs (including those of participants), motion pictures, recordings, or any other media records of the program, for any legitimate purpose including commercial advertising and distribution to Sponsors anywhere in the world
  • Runners must complete a cardiac screening test, which will be provided free of charge by the Beirut Marathon Association in collaboration with Champs Fund
  • Runners must agree to join a WhatsApp group set up by their coach for communication and training instructions
  • The 542 coaches are experienced runners who are volunteering their time and efforts for this program
  • If runners registered for the 542 while paying the BLOM BANK BEIRUT MARATHON 2019 registration fee and turned out to have already ran a marathon previously. The 542 registration will be cancelled, however the registration for the race will stay valid.
  • Runners are not allowed to change teams once the training journey starts
  • In case of any internal/external complaint or incident, runners are expected to report to the Beirut Marathon Association and/or 542 organizers, as they will do their best in dealing with the situation resourcefully
  • Runners can decide to choose between running in a group or running virtually on their own (or combine both). In both cases, participants will receive ongoing training assistance from their dedicated coach
  • 542 provides insurance that can only be effective during training sessions and if all the criteria are met and can only be used in the presence of a BMA accredited person.
  • BMA and the 542 program’s terms and conditions could be altered, and BMA reserve the right to cancel the program under extenuating circumstances
  • It is encouraged to have runners post about their training journey on their social media platforms using the #542, and #beirutmarathon to promote the spirit of running in Lebanon

Code of Ethics

Always be respectful of the environment you are using during your trainings Political slogans or discussions are strictly forbidden Always be cheerful and respectful to all participants, coaches and organizers

Health & Safety

The 542 training program will be held with strict social distancing guidelines. Wearing a mask before and after the runs, at the gatherings is a must. Runners not following this policy will be asked to immediately rectify failing to follow directions. If runners refuse, they will be asked to leave the training session.

Runners should protect their health and safety and that of others by social distancing while running. Please stay up-to-date on the latest news and guidelines from the Lebanese Ministry of Health.

COVID 19 Restrictions

  • Wear a face mask during gatherings before or after runs.
  • Maintain a 1.5 m distance from other individuals at all times
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes with your elbow or sleeve, or a tissue and then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands afterwards
  • Washing your hands before and after the runs with soap and water for 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol- based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid touching your face – especially your eyes, nose, and mouth – with unwashed hands
  • Stay home if you have cold- or flu-like symptoms and remain home until fever-free (without fever reducing medicine) for 24 hours
  • Each coach and runner must have their own water bottles. Exchanging bottles is strictly forbidden


I will not hold the Beirut Marathon Association responsible for any injury, accident or death related to participating in this training program.

Nutrition Tips


Morning runs:
Have a light low fat breakfast, focus on carbs
• Medium bread sandwich with Labneh
• Medium sandwich or toast with Jam
• Low-fat milk + banana
• Yogurt + a small cup of fruits + honey
• Low-fat milk + a cup of cereals
• Banana bread + honey
• Pancake + syrup
• Dates and dried fruits, raisins (super easy and fast to have)
(add 2-3 designs of banana, dates, small sandwich, yogurt, or toast with jam)
1 cup of coffee or tea is ok (add the design of the cup of coffee)

Afternoon runs:
Have a normal and healthy lunch, have a small snack 1 hour before your training
(add 2-3 designs of the type of snacks)
banana, granola bar, dates or dried fruits

Be careful not to over eat before exercise.
Three to four hours before you run, drink 2-4 cups of fluids. One hour before youworkout, drink 1-2 cups of fluids


It is SUPER important for us that you complete the survey; please give us a few minutes of your time

Some of you are probably feeling tired and lightheaded during runs. The first nutrition tip will boost your training and delay fatigue.

Eating before the training is very important for you not to be tired very quickly and it guarantees that you benefit from the training.

If your run is in the morning:
You have to get up early enough to have a light breakfast at least 45 minutes before the run. What you ate for dinner the previous night has been already used, and your blood sugar might be low. If you don't eat, you might feel lightheaded when you exercise, especially that your runs are now around 8km.

Keep the breakfast before a run, a light breakfast, focus on carbs (but not high fibers) and make it low in fat.

Some good examples are:
• Medium bread sandwich with Labneh
• Medium sandwich or toast with Jam
• Low-fat milk + banana
• Yogurt + a small cup of fruits + honey
• Low-fat milk + a cup of cereals
• Banana bread + honey
• Pancake + syrup
• Dates and dried fruits, raisins (super easy and fast to have)
*coffee and tea: 1 cup is ok before the run

If your run is in the afternoon/early evening:
You probably had a good lunch (focus on carbs, keep it low fat), but you still need to snack 1 hour before your run. Even if you are not hungry, think of it as fueling your body so it can perform better.

Some good examples are:
• A banana or any other fresh fruit
• One glass of yogurt
• One small glass of a fruit smoothie
• Toast with 2 spoons of jam
• A granola bar
• Dried fruits and dates
• A small sandwich with 1 spoon peanut butter and 1 spoon of jam
• If you don’t have access to healthy snacks you can have an energy bar.

Be careful not to overdo it when it comes to how much you eat before exercise.

Three to four hours before you run, drink 2-4 cups of fluids. One hour before youworkout, drink 1-2 cups of fluids (we will talk about hydration that also plays a role in delaying fatigue, in the next tip).

Meet the coaches

Walid El Kabbani (Beirut)

Races completed

BLOM BANK BEIRUT MARATHON 2003 – 2018 (All Editions)
Maratona Di Roma 2018
Saida Marathon 2017
Rotterdam Marathon 2017
RunCzech Prague Marathon 2016
Jbeil – Beirut Marathon Distance, 2 editions
Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris 2015
Copenhagen Marathon 2015
Triathlon, 7 editions
Many Half Marathons
Personal Best



Wissam Kheir (Beirut)

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2003 – 2018 (All Editions)
Rotterdam Marathon 2017 / 2019
BMW Berlin Marathon 2018
TCS Amsterdam Marathon 2018
Personal Best



Ghassan Hajjar (Beirut)

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 6 editions
BMW Berlin Marathon
Schneider Electric Marathon de Paris 2 editions
Marathon des sables – Sahara Desert
Personal Best



Jihad Shoueib (Beirut)

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2016 / 2017
Many Half Marathons
10 KM Beirut Marathon 2003 / 2004 / 2005 / 2008 till 2014
3 x 5 KM Races between Beirut and Canada
4 x 100 M Track and Field Canada
100 M
Personal Best

Marathon: 4:09:00
10 KM: 00:40:12
100 M: 00:00:12, 200 M: 00:00:30, 800 M 00:02:53

Running, Hiking, Hunting, Rafting
Drawing, Basketball, Music
Rappel, Climbing, Hunting, Traveling
Photography, Car Racing, Acting

Dr. Georges Karam (Beirut)

Races completed

Participates in the Marathon since 2018.
Done several half marathons.
Medical Doctor specialized in psychiatry: motivating patients to go for runs.
Coaches small groups.

Hiking, running

Fahmi Shouman

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2017 / 2018
Rotterdam Marathon 2017
9 x Half Marathons
6 x Obstacle Races
2 x Olympic Triathlons
Personal Best

Marathon: 3:43:00 Half Marathon: 1:36:00

Fitness trainer
Outdoor Activities

Belal Charanek

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2015
10 x Half Marathons
Many 5K & 10K Races
Personal Best



Hanna Mrad (Beqaa)

Races completed

Lebanese Army Champion 400m 1994 Haramoun Race 2019, 3rd Place Horsh Beirut Cross Country 2020, 6th Place


Chukri Nakhoul (Jounieh)

Races completed

Ghazieh Race 2017
Ghine Al Jabal 2016
Zahle race 2007
BLOM BANK Beirut Marathon, 16 editions
Raid Des Cedres Race
Barracks to Barracks Terry Fox Run
Lebanese Army Race
Cedar Green Aqualton 2014
Shore to Summit Triathlon 2012
Many Road Races
Personal Best



Michel Wakil (Broumana)

Races completed

50 Races
26 x Marathons
Personal Best



Karla Jabbour (Broumana)

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2011
Beirut Marathon 2012
10 KM at the Beirut Marathon 2010
Run Lebanon
Relay Race at the Beirut Marathon 2014
Beirut Marathon 2017
Beirut Marathon 2018
Personal Best


Table Tennis

David El Chabab (Broumana)

Races completed

2 x Marathons
Personal Best



Ralph Bou Doumit (Dbayyeh)

Races completed

3x marathon
7x half marathon
Personal Best

10k: 41:20
1/2 marathon: 1:37
Marathon: 3:52


Wissam Yazbeck (Saida)

Races completed

Participated in all runs organized by BMA ever since.
Has participated in championships abroad representing the army.
IAH 6H Virtual Global Solidarity Run distance completed 72.78km
Mother of all races: Faraya Mzaar 1/2 marathon:21.1 K at 2000m altitude 1:15:37
Personal Best

Marathon 2006 - 2:44
Half Marathon- Lebanese Championship - 1:12
5km: 15 min
3km: 8:36


Maryam Abdullah Haidar (tyre)

Races completed

Specialized in physical education and Sports from School of Physical Education and Sports Tebnine Technical Institute
Masters M1 in Educational Administration
Referee in Lebanese Athletics Federation
Marathon Runner
First place medals in several 10km and 21km races in age categories
Aerobics and Zumba coach
Has earned international coaching certificates in different sports.

Muhannad Abu Hussein (Tripoli)

Races completed

Beirut Marathon 2015
10 x Half Marathons
Long and short distances runner and coach
Trophies holder; Ranking first in numerous Lebanese and international races.
Previous founding member and sports consultant at Momentum Sports Club.
Personal Best

within the 3hr range

Roy Kazan (Fanar)

Races completed

5x Marathon
1x ultra trail Marathon
10+ 5km to 21km races
2x OCR races
Personal Best

5km : 23 mins
Half Marathon: 1:53
Marathon: 4:59

Horse riding
Reading psychology and pseudo-science
Sports in general.

Michel Chbeir (Dbayyeh)

Races completed

Many half Marathons
Chamel Roukoz trail running races Faraya edition : second place
Lebanese Half Marathon second and third places in age categories.
Marathon/trail runner
Trained with 542 and assisted coach Jihad Bourji.
Completed the long distance running certification with BMA and champs
Personal Best

Marathon: 3:37
Half Marathon : 1:26

Jihad Abdullah

Races completed

Numerous national and international races of 10 KM & 21.1 KM.
Freestyle wrestling player and classified as the first Romanian wrestling player.
Also a Fitness and martial arts coach.

Trainer in several universities such as Balamand, BAU, military college,, and the central club

Judo athlete.

Georges Debline

Races completed

Participated in more than 200 official races.
3rd age group in 21km Beirut Marathon 2017
3rd in 1500m & 2nd 400m overall in Lebanese runners championship when used to run with Lebanese Army Club in 1998.
3rd age group 10 km Lebanese runners championship 2021 (اختراق الضاحية)
Personal Best

21km: 1hr 19ms
10km: 35 min 20 seconds