Less than 48 hours after a deadly bomb exploded in Jerusalem,
streets were again clear of traffic.
Schools were closed in Beersheva on Friday, March 25
because of grad missiles.
In Jerusalem classes were cancelled
because the first full Jerusalem Marathon was running
from Gan Sachar, Sachar Park.
Parking was difficult, necessitating long treks to get to registration.
A storm the night before left the park muddy.
“I have not seen this much mud since Woodstock!” was the winning comment.
After climbing up the hill towards the Israel Museum and the Knesset,
the starting line was finally in sight.
Thousands of people from around the world came to participate
in the marathon, the half-marathon,
the 10 Kilometer
and the special Zahal races.
The winners of the half-marathon and full-marathon
received flowers, cash prizes, and public recognition,
but it was really a day with too many winners to count.
Thousands of dollars were raised for charity projects.
Merkaz Panim, a new organization to help couples facing fertility challenges,
participated in the 10K walk to kick-off its fund raising campaign.
One group was happy to be raising money for a park
in memory of fallen soldier Daniel Mandel.
Shalva was walking again to raise money for children with special needs,
they stood out with their purple shirts.
and Team Lifeline…all winners!
Winning smiles after the race were too numerous to count.
Parents of student organizers did not even have to run to feel like winners.
People came from Australia to support family members who were running
or to support a good cause,
like the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levin.
Spectators, as long as they did not have to get anywhere by car,
enjoyed the day, lining the route
and cheering on their favorite runners.
Lots of security and no violence left the press with a hard job
trying to find a winning angle
Whether you were close to the finish line,
or just in the race…
it was a day filled with winners.
Mayor Nir Barkat had good reason to smile,
his idea to host a marathon turned out to be a winner.
For more great smiles,
see The Real Jerusalem Streets’ Facebook Page.