Did you Hear about Jerusalem Marathon 2013?

Streets were shut.

Traffic was blocked.

Public transportation came to a stop.

Schools had to close.

Jerusalem streets were deserted.

Was it a bomb scare, a terror attack, an alien invasion,

or hmm, an US Presidential visit?  Not yet.

No, the 3rd International Jerusalem Marathon was set to begin. 

Jerusalem marathon photo

To get around the city center on Friday morning

walking and biking were the only options.

Jerusalem marathon photo

 Last year rain and hail fell as the runners came near the Old City walls

marathon runners photo, Jerusalem

This year the weather was much better for the marathon runners as

 they ran the 42 kilometer route through the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

marathon photo

The cool temperatures did not make everyone happy

and the grey skies and no sunshine were not great for photos.

Jerusalem marathon

However, these actors walking on stilts draped in the flags

representing the 50 countries of the runners entered in the race,

Jerusalem marathon photo

and other characters, provided plenty of color as the runners took off.

The marathon winner from Ethiopia ran in a record time,

marathon winner photo

as Abraham Kabeto approached the finish line

Marathon runner photo

he was well ahead of the Kenyan runner who came in second place.

marathon winners female photo

       Here are the top three women runners smiling on the winners’ stand.

However, at this event

there were many more winners than these elite athletes. 

crowd of people photo

Over twenty thousand people ran in the various races,

supported and cheered on by a crowd of a half a million people.

marathon runners photo

Thousands ran the half marathon, a 21.1 -kilometer course, 

Jerusalem marathon

through the streets

marathon runners picture

and up the Jerusalem hills.

runners in race image, Jerusalem marathon

The winners of the 10 kilometer race were led by a motorcycle escort,

and thousands of runners followed after them.

Jerusalem marathon

Zahal, the Israel Defense Force, had a separate start time for their race.

marathon runners image

As these marathon runners approached the special finish line,

winner marathon photo

the 5th Place winner was already smiling and posing for photos,

crowded park, Jerusalem crowd

in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, which was filled with people.

end of race

This girl was so happy after finishing the 10 K race.

What a shame that UNWRA has cancelled the Gaza marathon.

Some people tried to protest or disrupt these Jerusalem races,

but it seems once again that no matter how many people are 

on the Jerusalem streets, if no violence is involved,

it is not a news worthy event.

marathon runner

Some full marathon runners were still seen on the streets

hours after the official winners crossed the finish line.

wheel chair in race

 Everyone who participated deserved and received a medal.

Many runners ran in support of a dozens of good causes.

Everyone was a winner on Friday, March 1.

nir barkat photo, Jerusalem marathon

 Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (center) had reason to smile.

The International Jerusalem Marathon has grown bigger

and better every year.

Many more people are already talking about

and planning to run in next year’s Jerusalem Marathon 2014.

Hope to see you next year in Jerusalem!

More photos HERE and HERE 

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