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?

Did you Hear about Jerusalem Marathon 2013?

Streets were shut.

Traffic was blocked.

Public transportation came to a stop.

Schools had to close.

Jerusalem streets were deserted.

Was it a bomb scare, a terror attack, an alien invasion,

or hmm, an US Presidential visit?  Not yet.

No, the 3rd International Jerusalem Marathon was set to begin. 

Jerusalem marathon photo

To get around the city center on Friday morning

walking and biking were the only options.

Jerusalem marathon photo

 Last year rain and hail fell as the runners came near the Old City walls

marathon runners photo, Jerusalem

This year the weather was much better for the marathon runners as

 they ran the 42 kilometer route through the Jerusalem, Israel streets.

marathon photo

The cool temperatures did not make everyone happy

and the grey skies and no sunshine were not great for photos.

Jerusalem marathon

However, these actors walking on stilts draped in the flags

representing the 50 countries of the runners entered in the race,

Jerusalem marathon photo

and other characters, provided plenty of color as the runners took off.

The marathon winner from Ethiopia ran in a record time,

marathon winner photo

as Abraham Kabeto approached the finish line

Marathon runner photo

he was well ahead of the Kenyan runner who came in second place.

marathon winners female photo

       Here are the top three women runners smiling on the winners’ stand.

However, at this event

there were many more winners than these elite athletes. 

crowd of people photo

Over twenty thousand people ran in the various races,

supported and cheered on by a crowd of a half a million people.

marathon runners photo

Thousands ran the half marathon, a 21.1 -kilometer course, 

Jerusalem marathon

through the streets

marathon runners picture

and up the Jerusalem hills.

runners in race image, Jerusalem marathon

The winners of the 10 kilometer race were led by a motorcycle escort,

and thousands of runners followed after them.

Jerusalem marathon

Zahal, the Israel Defense Force, had a separate start time for their race.

marathon runners image

As these marathon runners approached the special finish line,

winner marathon photo

the 5th Place winner was already smiling and posing for photos,

crowded park, Jerusalem crowd

in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, which was filled with people.

end of race

This girl was so happy after finishing the 10 K race.

What a shame that UNWRA has cancelled the Gaza marathon.

Some people tried to protest or disrupt these Jerusalem races,

but it seems once again that no matter how many people are 

on the Jerusalem streets, if no violence is involved,

it is not a news worthy event.

marathon runner

Some full marathon runners were still seen on the streets

hours after the official winners crossed the finish line.

wheel chair in race

 Everyone who participated deserved and received a medal.

Many runners ran in support of a dozens of good causes.

Everyone was a winner on Friday, March 1.

nir barkat photo, Jerusalem marathon

 Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (center) had reason to smile.

The International Jerusalem Marathon has grown bigger

and better every year.

Many more people are already talking about

and planning to run in next year’s Jerusalem Marathon 2014.

Hope to see you next year in Jerusalem!

More photos HERE and HERE 

Jerusalem Marathon 2012

Months of planning and weeks of extensive preparations

"flags" . "truck" , "special truck"

 went into the Second International Jerusalem Marathon,

but no one had control over the weather.

With heavy rains the night before and more rain in the forecast,

many spectators stayed away.

"wet street', "rainy day"

The runners of the full marathon raced through nearly deserted streets.

"shelter" , "rain"

 Security was out in large numbers,

but they often tried to find cover from the rain.

"Jaffa Gate" "Old City' , "large sign"

The marathon route went into the Old City through Jaffa Gate,

"high five" , "lady running marathong'

 where loud music, entertainers and spectators cheered the runners on.

"motorcycles", "runners"

The rain stopped as the half-marathon leaders entered the Old City.

"10 kilometer runner" "runners'

The sun was shining on the 10 kilometer race leaders,

but soon after hail started coming down.

"reflection in water',

Under grey skies, through wet streets,

"runners"

15,000 runners, including 1500 from 

"race"

50 countries from around the world, 

"runners"

came to run.

"girl running"

When the sun came out, so did a smile.

"walking group"

With streets closed to traffic, the only way to get around was to walk.

"Christian toursits"

Some tourists seemed to enjoy walking instead of using their usual buses.

"girls running"

It would have been harder to run in really hot weather,

"happy"

but in spite of the weather and Jerusalem’s uneven and hilly streets,

runners seemed happy to be in the race.

"Chai Lifeline"

Running to raise money for good causes and charity or self-satisfaction

they came…neither rain, nor sleet nor hail,

nor threat of terror kept them away.

 I took way too many photos and plan to put more on

The Real Jerusalem Streets Facebook page.

http://www.facebook.com/trjstreets

Meanwhile, to see more runners, check out this video:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8oysvWZ5FY&feature=youtu.be

"metal sculpture", "art", "men dancing', "Jerusalem marathon pictures"