by: Kate Norman and Ilse Strauss
Thursday, 16 March 2023 | Tens of thousands of runners will traverse Israel’s capital tomorrow for the 11th annual Jerusalem Marathon. In keeping with tradition over the past decade, the race takes place as the Jewish state prepares to welcome spring.
Runners of varying levels can take on a 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mi.) marathon, a 21.1-kilometer (13.1-mi.) half marathon, a 10-kilometer (6.2-mi) race, a 5-kilometer (3.1-mi.) race, a 1.7-kilometer (1.05-mi.) family run and an 800-meter (0.5-mi.) community race.
According to seasoned marathon runners, the Jerusalem Marathon can be quite the uphill battle—literally and figuratively. In fact, since the first official race in 2011, it has gained the reputation as one of the world’s toughest marathons. Still, it is a fascinating course.
Its track winds through a landscape that has witnessed some of the world’s most significant events, and traces the landmarks that showcase Jerusalem’s 3,000 years of history. It is this context—combined with the City of Gold’s sheer beauty—that attracts tens of thousands of local and international runners every year.
The landmarks dotting the course take runners on a journey through time. The race begins at the Knesset building, Israel’s government offices, then winds past the shuk, Jerusalem’s popular outdoor market.
During the first part of the race, runners experience the modern side of Jerusalem with luxury hotels and shopping malls. The course then continues to the historical architecture and narrow alleyways in the Old City, where landmarks include the Tower of David, Via Dolorosa and a glimpse of the Western Wall. Before reaching the finishing line in Sacher Park, runners also experience the City of David, the Mount of Olives, the Sultan’s Pool and the Armon HaNatziv promenade with its spectacular panorama of Jerusalem.
“It’s not just a sporting event, it’s a spiritual event,” explained former Jerusalem mayor, Nir Barkat. “We’re in the holy city of Jerusalem, running where kings and prophets walked, where the Bible happened.”
And it won’t just be runners crowding the streets of Jerusalem. Thousands of spectators and unofficial cheerleaders will congregate throughout the capital city’s streets, cheering on the runners, taking in the sites, and enjoying concerts and other entertainment throughout the City of Gold.
Please note that the Bridges for Peace offices will be closed tomorrow for the marathon. We will resume normal activities, including news, on Monday, March 20.
Posted on March 16, 2023
Source: (Bridges for Peace, March 16, 2023)
Source: Bridges for Peace/bridgesforpeace.com
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