By Deena Levenstein
Once a year on a Friday in March, tens of thousands of people gather to run up, down and around hilly Jerusalem. The Jerusalem Marathon, which is taking place this year on Friday, March 13, 2015, became official in 2011 when Mayor Nir Barkat gave a push to take Jerusalem beyond the half marathon that was the norm for a few years prior.
It has definitely been a learning curve with a huge mess up the first year when the three leading runners of the men’s race veered off course and arrived at the wrong finish line. But today both the municipality and the residents have everything more under control, with personal errands being completed a day early and a friendly and sporty vibe all throughout the city.
As Israel’s largest marathon, around 25,000 people are running this year in Jerusalem, along the five routes of different lengths. People will zip by the Knesset (Israel’s parliament), through the Old City of Jerusalem, along roads with spectacular views of the desert and past other beautiful and monumental sites.
Beyond the comradery of the day, one of the most touching aspects of this annual event is the dozens of groups running to raise funds and awareness for organizations and causes. This year, a particularly heartwarming group is volunteers from the police force with children and young adults with disabilities that don’t allow them to walk. With the Upsee, a new Israeli invention that allows children to walk while strapped to an adult, these duos and trios will be participating in the marathon.
Running the Jerusalem Marathon means covering 3,000 year of Jerusalem history as part of an exhilarating and moving event.
Will we see you here next year?
Photos courtesy of the Jerusalem Marathon
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