Another Week of Presidents in Jerusalem

Helicopters hovering above the Jerusalem, Israel, streets

 are usually a sign of bad news.

But during the third week in February,

it could be anything or anyone,

with so many presidents and dignitaries visiting.

In the US, Monday’s Presidents Day combines honoring

George Washington street

George Washington,

Jerusalem Lincoln Street

and Abraham Lincoln.

The two Jerusalem streets honoring them are next to each other,

but note that in Hebrew ‘Lincoln’ is pronounced, Link-o-lin. 

As usual, there were many more presidents here during Presidents week.

The American Conference of Presidents Leadership

Mission to Israel is being briefed by a whole range of speakers.

Ido Daniel slide at Conference of Presidents Jerusalem

The sessions on threats and security are very daunting,

with Iran, ISIS, Hezbollah, Syria, PA and Hamas at our doors,

1914 crisis of Jews in holy land

but just read if you can this telegram from August 1914.

It begins, “Palestinian Jews facing terrible crisis.”

‘Nothing new under the sun’ might be the best response.

However, this was a good week

to get out of the hotels and houses.

nature spot in Jerusalem

With sun shining and warm temperatures,

it was a great time to walk

in Gan Ha’atzmaut, Independence Park,

although not many people took advantage,

Gan Haatzmaut

which could be even better for the few who did.

flower, rose, park

While there were few roses in bloom,

almond blossoms

the almond tree blossoms burst forth this week.

I now appreciate the Tu B’Shevat children’s holiday song.

From not seeing any blossoms for the Tu B’Shevat holiday,

starting Friday they seem to have popped out all over.

Rain and now shine,

runners have taken to the streets.

Jerusalem marathon sign 2016

The Jerusalem Marathon is a month away,

and those seriously participating are seriously training.

Finally,

I am sharing again,

Jerusalem rainbow

in case you missed this double rainbow from last week.

Until the next rainbow, it will be a favorite photo,

even though the real thing was so much more impressive.

Now off on a photo walk, to show tourists,

some of what is really happening off the Jerusalem streets.

Always different, as you never know what you will find.

Jerusalem Marathon Ready Set

It poured overnight, but the skies are slowly clearing,

and those who prepared early are very happy,

Tomorrow is the big day,

this has to be drier that the first rain soaked Jerusalem marathon.

The Jerusalem Marathon is hard to miss,

and just like last year’s run,

Jerusalem marathon finish line

a finish line has been up and ready

across a major street for a couple of weeks.

ad for Jerusalem marathon

These huge signs are displayed in multiple locations.

Not only will the races close

many Jerusalem, Israel streets all Friday morning,

Sports Marathon at ICC

but there is also a Sports Expo

in the Jerusalem International Conference Center.

Sports Marathon sign up for runners

Runners have three days to come and get their kits,

with their official shirts and numbers.

Sports Marathon 016b

Entering  the Convention Center lobby

Sports Marathon at ICC

it is all about marathons.

Sports Marathon expo

But inside the large halls,

Sports Marathon 011b

it is all about sportswear marketing.

Sports Marathon Aleh booth

Aleh is one of the many organizations with teams of runners

who will raise thousands of dollars for charity.

Sports Marathon pick up shirts and numbers  at ICC

The full marathon attracts runners from around the world.

Sports Marathon ready in Gan Sacher

Gan Sacher, Sacher Park is the main venue.

Sports Marathon start times

The times for the different runs are posted here.

Sports Marathon shul in park

With those early morning start times

it is good that the synagogue is easy to find.

Sports Marathon ceremonies

The serious marathon runners will race up and down

the hilly Jerusalem streets in amazing times,

with the first awards ceremony set  to start before 9:00 am.

Sports Marathon Jerusalem finish line

The finish line for the full marathon is in the park,

each year it gets a little better organized,

  the large park is filled with runners and supporters.

Street fair on Emek Refaim during Jerusalem marathon

With major roads closed to traffic,

many residents do not like this sports event

that shuts down the city.

But maybe the music and street theater

on Emek Refaim Street this year

will keep some of those not running and cheering

in a better mood.

What a difference a few years makes:

who even remembers those half marathon runs?

Jerusalem Marathon 2014

The sun was shining for the 4th International Jerusalem Marathon,

image runner, photo marathon runners Jerusalem, picture men running

as 26,000 runners raced through the Jerusalem, Israel streets,

image winner, photo race winner, picture winner at finish line

and the winner came in with a record-breaking time.

Streets were closed,

image Jerusalem marathon, photo people walking, picture walking to marathon

so everyone had to walk to get to check in and the starting line.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo park of marahton, Jerusalem marathon photo

Once a year the graffiti is white-washed away and

a new banner is hung near the full marathon finish line.

image sign marathon, photo Jerusalem marathon

Besides the full and half marathons there are other popular races.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo starting line, picture crowd at starting line

Thousands lined up at the starting line for the 10 kilometer run.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon start, picture 10 k race

The young and not so young, most dressed in colorful shirts,

iamge Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon start, picture start of marathon

and their enthusiasm off the start was contagious.

iamge people on stilts, photo men in flag colored costumes, Jerusalem marathon picture

Entertainers on stilts were dressed in flag-colored costumes,

near a special course for shorter races for the young and disabled.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo children watching for runner, picture Jeruslaem marathon

Supporters lined the streets watching and waiting.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo sing for marathon, photo Jerusalem marathon

Along the routes were

image Jerusalem marathon, photo marathon, picture water stop marathon

  water stations.

image crowd going to starting line, photo Jerusalem marathon

It was hard to get through the crowd in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park

at the start of the 10 K race.

image female marathon winner, photo runner Jerusalem marathon, winner picture woman runner

With so many events running at once, it was hard to find family members,

but we did see the winner of the women’s full marathon.

image runners, photo Hungarian runners

Over 50 countries were represented, and many religions,

image runner kissing finish line, photo marathon runnere

but we only saw one runner from Brazil kiss the finish line.

image Israeli winners at Jerusalem marathon, photo winners, picture marathon winners

Separate awards for Israeli winners were presented for best times.

Loud music pumped through the park, which could be heard kilometers away.

image crowd at Jerusalem marathon, picture crowded park , photo crowd

The runners at the end of their races and arriving for medals,

were separated by fences from the crowds of spectators.

image Jerusalem marathon, photo smiling race finshers, picture grandmother hugging girl at end of race

But some proud grandmothers knew how to get around barriers for a special hug.

iamge Jerusalem marathon, photo RavBeni Lau, picture Jerusalem maraton

And then there was the walk home.

The sun was hot.

Some runners were still approaching the finish line,

image runner late in day jerusalem marthon, photo Jerusalem marathon runner,  photo last runner

even as the streets were opened to traffic at one o’clock.

Thousands of shekels were raised for charity.

Everyone who participated was a winner.

Many have been inspired to try next year,

to enter or to train for a longer race.

image ahava emunah , picture Jerusalem marathon

#happylanche

 The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook

 Jerusalem Marathon album has many more photos HERE.

I wonder how many faces you will recognize?

Remember last year?  If not see:

Jerusalem Marathon 2013

Did you Hear About Jerusalem Marathon 2013?