The flags of Israel, the city of Jerusalem, and the Marathon lined the Jerusalem streets for the 12th Jerusalem Winner Marathon races on Friday, March 17th.
The main routes go through the Old City, connecting the new and the ancient streets of Jerusalem with tens of thousands of runners.
As Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion mentioned at the Jerusalem Marathon launch, where else can you get 3,000 years of history in one race?
These mascots were cute at the opening event, but I did not see them on race day at Sacher Park or the starting line near the Knesset.
This is one of the elite international runners at the event. In the past, there had been many runners to meet and photograph. That was BC, before corona, but this year thousands of international runners were back again.
Security was in place. Streets were blocked at 5:30 am on race day.
The lead full-marathon runners with escorts were out early.
The fastest runners were led by a motorcycle.
Thousands of full marathon runners headed off around Jerusalem streets on their 42.2-kilometer full-marathon race.
Unlike last year when it was cold and way too wet, the day was sunny and warm and jackets were discarded before the starting line.
By the main finish line, spectators waited for the full marathon finishers.
He wasn’t the first-place winner, but the crowd cheered all those who crossed the main finish line in Sacher Park.
The Women’s half-marathon winner was again from Ukraine.
While Israeli Beatie Deutsch was happy with her family and second place.
But the Jerusalem Marathon is not just about the two long runs.
It is the smaller courses that have the biggest number of entries.
The participants out from ADI Israel participated again with a larger group this year on the smaller course near the Knesset.
The 10-kilometer race had two large groups of runners, most were not in costumes though, but dressed in shirts from one of dozens of good causes.
Not everyone sped over the finish line outside the park, but everyone who crossed it was a winner and received a medal.
Two long-time participant runners, as my friend from Team HASC, who was so focused on the finish line he did not hear me, though his companion did.
There were short family races also, besides the volunteer supporters who act as a family to help those who can not run on their own.
The Sacher Park was filled with people and tents of various organizations.
There were quiet spots and busy activities on the weather pleasant day.
A drone hovered over the finish line.
But it was Friday, and time to get home, as the full marathon runners were still on their way to the park and finish line.
I’ll post some of those photos later, as I think everyone participating and reaching the line is a winner, no matter their official time.
UPDATED WITH VIDEO:
A wonderful day with wonderful weather and tens of thousands of smiles.
But, I wonder if anywhere else but in Jerusalem, Israel, would I be offered challah to take home for Shabbat – because there was no time to bake on Jerusalem Marathon Friday.
The Jerusalem Marathon is set for March 8, 2024 – so start training now. Hope to be able to find you in the crowd of tens of thousands next year.