The International Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2017
was run on Friday morning, March 17.
The Jerusalem streets were closed and traffic was blocked
as 30,000 runners participated in the full marathon
and a number of other shorter races.
As the full marathon runners were going by
at least one man on the right wanted attention,
as did the two runners in tams and kilts.
Over 60 countries were represented,
but I only saw one French flag.
Women were in the crowd running the full marathon.
Tens of thousands ran through the streets,
as the route looped around and through the Old City.
Last year’s #1 was again #1 this year.
After kissing the ground,
full marathon winner Shadrack Kipkogey was congratulated by
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, who was dressed for a 10 K run.
I took 500 photos and it was hard to decide which ones to share.
But thousands of selfies were taken at the starting line
and at the finish line.
One of my favorite photos and stories:
I posted a photo of a family from South Africa
dressed in red on Facebook at night after the race,
and by morning all the names had been tagged.
Water stations were located along the route,
plus this one where runners re-entered
Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, after their race.
Tens of thousands were in the park
and the activities provided.
There was new entertainment at the starting line,
but many participants were so excited they hardly noticed.
Just getting to the starting line took a long time,
because of security and crowds
walking anywhere took longer than usual.
The 10 K race had 3 different starting times and groups
for the thousands who participated.
Brightly colored shirts from dozens of charity organizations
were worn by thousands of runners,
and this woman who walks for Shalva,
was back again this year.
Remembe I commented how I never saw the mayor running?
Well, this year I saw him at the start
and again at the end of the race at the finish line.
I even spotted the man who wants to be the next mayor
at both the starting and finish lines.
The numbers attending the Jerusalem Marathon
have grown so large it is hard to find family or friends.
One of the reasons the numbers have grown
is the participation in a special Family Race.
At 10:30 am, 6000 were waiting to start the last race of the day.
I did not stay for the starting gun,
as I was racing back to the 10 K finish line.
But the family members I was looking for?
I did not see any of them!
While walking home, I passed those taking
a slower pace nearing the finish line.
Some streets opened early to traffic this year.
And there was Barefoot Rick,
still smiling as he finished up another marathon.
Not sure if this was 84 or 85, of the over 100 marathons
he has run without shoes to raise money for charity.
Tens of thousands ran through the Jerusalem streets,
millions of dollars were raised for charity.
There are people who still hate it,
but look for an even bigger and better one next year.
The date is set for the next Jerusalem Marathon:
March 9, 2018.
By then I had better get an app for my phone
so I can know how many kilometers I walked.
It could be way more than a full marathon.
To see more Jerusalem Marathon photos,
which were posted on Facebook,
please click HERE.