The International Jerusalem Marathon 2018 has run its course. Over 30,000 people ran the various races, from the full-marathon to family-friendly short routes.
The short runs and half-marathon used this finish line which was set up next to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, a couple of weeks ago.
The full-marathon track comes into the park and this is its finish line. Somehow so close, it looks so far away.
On Friday morning as we walked to the park, the security in front of the front runners of the full-marathon passed us. The streets were mostly deserted, except for the leading full-marathon runners.
Beatie Deutsch ran by so fast, I could only catch her back, as she raced by in pace with the leading men. A mother of five children, she won first place for Israeli Women in the full-marathon race.
Thousands ran the full-marathon route, with more Jerusalem residents participating than in the past.
International tourists also numbered in the thousands, and stopping to take a selfie was not uncommon.
Gan Sacher had activities for runners and their supporters, and exhibitions of sports items for sale.
The park had a synagogue near the information tent. Early starting times required many to get up before dawn. Some groups had organized prayer times.
By 9:00 am, the park was beginning to fill with this year’s official purple race shirts.
There are so many races going at once, it is impossible to be everywhere. For the Men’s half-marathon winner presentation, Mayoral hopeful Moshe Lion was on the stage with the winners, wearing running shorts.
This young woman won the Women’s 5K race and received a medal and flowers.
Instead of running up and down the park from one end to the other over and over doing a personal marathon, this year I waited for the full-marathon winners to arrive. The motorcycle went to the side, and the cyclists escorted Shadrack Kipkogey (27) of Kenya to the finish line.
Only as Kipkogey crossed the finish line for the second year in a row, winning first place in the Jerusalem Marathon, did his escort turn away.
The first place, full-marathon winners were photographed with Mayor Nir Barkat and special marathon guest, Olympic runner and World Champion long distance runner Haile Gebrselassie from Ethiopia.
But all the tens of thousands who ran the shorter races were also winners in my book.
The dozens of organizations who raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for good causes were also winners. OneFamily helps victims of terror, and their supporters included Druze families.
Another upside-down day in Jerusalem, Israel. With streets closed and traffic blocked all morning in parts of the city, not all were happy, and many left town the night before.
With so many people filling the streets and the park, multiple starting times and two finish lines, it was impossible to find family members without a set meeting time and location.
However, every year I seem to find one marathon runner more than once. This year the man in the sleeveless ice cream shirt was headed to the full marathon finish as I was heading home.
I had photographed same runner heading out in the morning on my way to the park.
Walking home was the only way to go. Many runners were going much slower after the race.
But these girls walking the 10K were not lacking in enthusiasm as they made their way to the finish line.
All runners or walkers who passed the finish line received a medal. All participants were winners.
The 8th Jerusalem International Marathon had serious security along the way.
It was a colorful, cool day.
More photos posted on Facebook can be found HERE
Like last year, one photo of people I did not know was posted on Facebook on Friday afternoon and within minutes, it was noticed and tagged and commented on.
“Pancreatic cancer is tough. So am I.”
Quite a wow message to end another year from the marathon on the streets of Jerusalem, Israel.