Best of Jerusalem Marathon 2018

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.

Jerusalem Marathon Finish line 2018

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.

Gan Sacher finish line Jerusalem Marathon

The full-marathon track comes into the park and this is its finish line. Somehow so close, it looks so far away.

Jerusalem Marathon lead runners

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 runs to lead female runners in Jerusalem marathon

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.

Full marathon runners Jerusalem marathon

Thousands ran the full-marathon route, with more Jerusalem residents participating than in the past.

Jerusalem Marathon runner stops to take selfie on course

International tourists also numbered in the thousands, and stopping to take a selfie was not uncommon.

Jerusalem Marathon in Gan Sacher

Gan Sacher had activities for runners and their supporters, and exhibitions of sports items for sale.

Jerusalem Marathon synagogue for morning prayers

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.

Jerusalem marathon in Gan Sacher

By 9:00 am, the park was beginning to fill with this year’s official purple race shirts.

Moshe Lion with winners of men's half marathon Jerusalem Marathon 2018

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.

5 K winner Jerusalem marathon 5 kilometers

This young woman won the Women’s 5K race and received a medal and flowers.

Jerusalem Marathon 2018 winner before braking tape

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.

Winner Jerusalem Marathon 2018

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.

Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat with elite runners Jerusalem marathon 2018

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.

Races for Jerusalem Marathon

But all the tens of thousands who ran the shorter races were also winners in my book.

Jerusalem Marathon Druze families with OneFamily group

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.

Jerusalem Marathon man standing on his head in Gan Sacher

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.

 

Jerusalem Marathon 2018 man wearing ice cream shirt at finish line

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.
Jerusalem Marathon 2018 runners

I had photographed same runner heading out in the morning on my way to the park.

Jerusalem Marathon 2018 people heading home after main races

Walking home was the only way to go. Many runners were going much slower after the race.

Jerusalem Marathon 10 K race three girls walking to Gan Sacher

But these girls walking the 10K were not lacking in enthusiasm as they made their way to the finish line.

Jerusalem Marathon medals 2018

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

Jerusalem Marathon special message shirt

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.

 

 

What a Week in Jerusalem: Presidents, Parliamentarians, Ambassadors and More

The third week in February is always a busy time in Jerusalem, Israel.

Unlike the US, where only one February weekend celebrates President George Washington,

Street sign George Washington in Jeruaslem

here in Jerusalem, Washington is honored all year long, and  Abraham Lincoln is right around the corner. 

The annual Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organization, COP, had over a hundred leaders participating in this year’s mission.

Football numbered shirt presented to President Rivlin in Jerusalem

COP Presidents were greeted by Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, who received this numbered jersey from a visiting US football player, who were in Israel on a tour.

Malcolm Hoenlein looks up at Jewish football player Geoff Schwartz at CoP dinner in Jerusalem Israel

Jewish football player Geoff Schwartz presented COP CEO Malcolm Hoenlein with a shirt.  Hoelein is looking up, seconds before he stood on a chair to get a better view.

Ambassador Friedman and Tammy Friedman

Also at the opening gala were US Ambassador David Friedman and his wife Tammy.

Dr Leah Goldin with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin in Jerusalem

President Rivlin consoles Dr. Leah Goldin, mother of Hadar Goldin z”l, whose remains are being held captive in Gaza.  There was another birthday of Hadar’s this week, 3 1/2 years after Hamas killed him, after agreeing to a cease fire.

Parents of Avera Mengistu at dinner CoP to raise awareness of their son held captive 3 years by Hamas

Also sharing their plight with the Presidents were the family of Avera Mengistu, and their spokesperson.  Over 3 years ago, the mentally challenged Avera wandered over the Gaza border and was kidnapped by Hamas.

Five former Israeli Ambassadors speak to Conference of Presidents at Waldorf Astoria

This was a not just a week for presidents, but for ambassadors too. On the dais in the Waldorf-Astoria Jerusalem ballroom, these five former Israeli ambassadors to the US, Moshe Arens, Sallai Meridor, Ron Prosor, Zalman Shoval and Itamar Rabinovich, shared their experiences.

Israeli Knesset hosts International Parliamentary heads at conference

At the Knesset, over 30 International Parliamentary Heads came to Jerusalem to share their knowledge at a Knesset Conference.

With all these important international leaders in Jerusalem, the most impressive session I attended went unreported.

Insights into Israel Bedouin girl at Israeli University excelling in STEM education

Entrepreneurs Dr. Yossi Vardi and SanDisk CEO Shahar Bar-Or, introduced Sereen to the COP Presidents after lunch at the Inbal Hotel.

Sereen is a 15 year-old Bedouin girl who grew up near Beer Sheva, and is an outstanding STEM student in an Israeli university. Her father’s cousin is a professor in both Stony Brook and Ben Gurion Universities, and promotes good education as key to success. Sereen, seated on the left wearing a dark hijab, is at the table with other promising Israeli young women. Her very proud mother is seen on the right in a tan colored head covering.

African American basketball players in Israel

Presidents, parliamentarians, and ambassadors, and even professional football players, are not the real streets. A new book “Alley-Oop to Aliyah” tells us about over 800 African-American basketball players who came to Israel over the years to play basketball. They loved it. Some stayed and made aliyah, and their children are playing ball and serve in the IDF.

Jerusalem Marathon 2018 huge announcement near Jaffa Gate

Out on the streets, this week’s Jerusalem’s Shaon Horef, Winter Noise, location was Jaffa Gate.

Shaon Horef שאון חורף ן Old City Jaffa Gate

Light projections and music played on inside Jaffa Gate at multiple locations.

Tower of David for Shaon Horef Jerusalem Monday night event in Februrary

Hundreds of people were climbing the steps throughout the Tower of David after dark.

Music and dancing at Jaffa Gate for Winter Noise event

The presidents were so close, they could have wandered over to see the crowds and danced along next to the walls of Tower of David at this free event.

Jerusalem Israel wild flowers growing in Valley of Cross

This was not a week to be cooped up all day in meetings! Look down and you see flowers blooming.

Clouds and colored sky photo Jerusalem sunset over Israel Museum

Look up and you could see magnificent sunsets.

Jerusalem Marathon finish line ready for races in March

A finish line is up next to Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, for the Jerusalem Marathon on March 9.

Happy Purim Jerusalem street posters

But first Purim.  Jerusalem street signs wish everyone a “Happy Purim.”

Preparations for costumes and food and meals are well under way. Young school children can be seen wearing their crowns on the streets. The not so young are also planning their holiday costumes.  There may be presidents this week, but next week there will be queens and kings and many more important personalities.

15 Jerusalem Street Scenes at Year End

15 Jerusalem Street Scenes at Year End

In Jerusalem, Israel,

every year after the holiday season,

I wait for things to quiet down.

However, it never seems to happen.

This year after the Trump Jerusalem announcement,

 the mainstream media reports spewed forth about imminent unrest.

US flag on City Hall in Kikar Safra

But the streets have remained “normal,”

as a huge US flag hangs on the Municipal building

together with flag of Jerusalem and the 50-year anniversary banner.

Before the recent drenching rains,

the weather was warm, almost like summer.

Friday morning, on a photo walk to Yemin Moshe,

Yemin Moshe stairs

there were so many photographers out

it was hard to get an empty street view.

Yemin Moshe view of house

Though weather had been dry for weeks,

the private gardens were beautiful,

with citrus fruit drooping from full trees.

Yemin Moshe shul, birds outside of window

Birds were perched above the synagogue door,

Bird in tree Jerusalem, Israel

and on the bare branches in Teddy Park.

Colorful leaves in Jerusalem, Israel

Fall colors are not easy to find in Israel,

but during a stroll through these Yemin Moshe lanes

you can find a bit of most anything.

But not all is a stroll through the park around here.

Much touted before it opened,

Alma Cafe shut and empty in Jerusalem Israel public park

the cafe in Gan Haatzmaut, Independence Park,

is now an empty shell.

Access ramp to bank on Azza Street in Jerusalem Israel

This new access ramp for the bank was just completed.

Now, after weeks of work,

one can enter without going up steps.

But so much for optimism about progress,

New ramp on Azza in front of bank removed

yesterday it was ripped out.

I have no idea why,

or how long will it take to rebuild.

Poster of things to be built in Jerusalem at City Hall

At Municipal Hall there are large posters of photos

displaying future building projects in Jerusalem.

Any bets when they will be completed?

Walking yesterday I saw

Walls of Old City, man sitting in sun reading

a man sitting and reading,

against the walls of the Old City.

Outside cafe along light rail line on Jaffa Road on sunny day

While along Jaffa Road,

people were sitting outside in cafes.

For winter, it was not such a bad day,

even though I was wearing a winter coat and boots.

Two men on Jaffa Street, one in shorts other religious musician

This bloke in shorts said he was from Australia.

Well, it is summer there.

metal sculpture near Mamilla Mall

No time to fiddle away,

this was part of an art piece at Mamilla Mall.

There last week, but gone yesterday.

Public square piano with man and little girl Jerusalem, Israel

This large piano is still outside in Zion Square,

for the use of young and old.

It is still December,

Jerusalem Marathon sign for March 2018, near walls of Old City Tzahal Square

but large signs are already up, this one  in Tzahal Square,

near the Old City of Jerusalem, Israel.

The Jerusalem Marathon is set for March 9, 2018,

and tens of thousands from near and far,

young and not so young, are getting ready

to again enjoy and race through the Jerusalem streets.