See Highlights of the Jerusalem Marathon 2023

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.

And this woman, my hero, who started running for Shalva before there was a full marathon, and was in the last half marathon. Now she was also running for The Ari Fuld Project.

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.

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There were quiet spots and busy activities on the weather pleasant day.

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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.

But there was much more, and you can see those photos on Facebook HERE and HERE and HERE

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.

The Best of Purim in Jerusalem

Purim in Jerusalem, Israel, is so very strange every year.

Purim is celebrated the day after the rest of the world- on what is called Shushan Purim. The street sign for Queen Esther is not really upside down.

Shushan Street sign in Jerusalem, Israel

There is also a street called Shushan Street – it’s near Safra Square.

Things feel different as the rest of the world has moved on and in Jerusalem, we are just finally getting started with the upside down.

Clowning around and colorful clowns abound.

The demise of Haman was announced but not mourned on this sign posted on a message board at a local community center.

After weeks of preparation, Shushan Purim went by with too much happening to capture it all. Nachlaot and many Jerusalem streets were bursting with costumed crowds, but here are a few favorites…

Best little guy costume

and an even cuter littlest one!

Not only little dinos, but space men were popular this year.

NASA better watch out for these future astronauts.

Best big hair,

Best big blue mask,

the very best big ears,

and the best underwear for a hat.

Jerusalem synagogues were filled for the readings of Megilat Esther.

Beer, wine, and booze were found inside and outside on the streets.

Chabad again sponsored multiple Megillah readings at night and all day long on King George Street and around.

But also in Jerusalem community parks hundreds assembled to hear the story of Esther repeated at night.

And there were musical events before and after the Megillah was read. How nice to see that on the Jerusalem streets where protesters usually shout against the Prime Minister, people sat quietly together to celebrate Purim.

The Megillah is read by night and by day,

Photo credit: Heddy Breuer Abramowitz

and more young women have undertaken the reading of the Megillah at special readings for women.

This year Jerusalem’s Shushan Purim day of celebration coincided with March 8 and International Women’s Day, so no new piece this time.

Therefore, I thought I’d share a women’s event held on March 9th at Shalva.

A Playback Theater experience with workshops especially for women.

Led by Toby Klein Greenwald and her expert drama and therapist cohosts, right after Purim, 100 women impressively participated in performance and movement and powerful improv workshops.

Plus, the Shalva building has many inspirational sayings lining its walls.

Where else on Purim would you enjoy such a lovely view while delivering a Mishloah Manot dinner to a friend, when stopped at a traffic light?

Purim is finally finished on Jerusalem streets.

Now the Jerusalem Marathon signs for Jerusalem street closings are up.

Tens of thousands of runners are registered to fill the Jerusalem streets on Friday, March 17, 2023. One of the finish lines is ready and the full marathon finish in Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, is being built.

My Purim hair/costume is put away until next year.

Pesach prep has begun.

Always something positive happening on the Jerusalem streets, when are you coming to see it?

Jerusalem Marathon 2022

Neither rain, cold, wind, and mud,

nor the slippery stones of the Jerusalem streets in the Old City stopped the running of the Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2022.

The International Jerusalem Marathon 2020 was canceled after its launch due to the pandemic, but the miserably wintery weather of late March did not stop the March 25, 250,000 runners.

Sub-optimal conditions may have slowed down the full marathon times and kept spectators away, but the people of all ages, both at the starting and finish lines, were enthusiastic.

At the Tower of David the night prior to the Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2022 the foreign press launch was held.

The focus of the event, besides getting your press pass, was to meet Valentya Kiliarska, the Ukrainian marathon runner.

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Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion welcomed her to Jerusalem, Israel, at the Tower of David reception, on the night before the races .

I decided to let Valentyna tell you her story. Yes – did win, coming in first.

The signup and registration for the Jerusalem Marathon and EXPO were at Cinema City, the same as in October 2021.

The silver-studded dancer downstairs was new to the event this year, it was good to see him partying again.

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He was jiving at what has become the annual Jerusalem Marathon Pasta Party at Cinema City, the night prior to race day.

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Walking home through Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, my boots got covered with mud, in spite of these rolls of fake grass.

The park looked ready. Already wet, I was lucky to be able to get home before more rains soaked the grounds yet again.

My day started off with LOVE, the medical clown on a bicycle who, after posing for a photo, led a group of young staff at the barriers in exercises to warm up while standing long hours in the winter weather.

At corners and main Jerusalem street intersections, there was water and medical assistance and yellow raincoated marathon support workers.

I focused on the full marathon this year as they started on the long run around on the Jerusalem streets closed to traffic.

Some Jerusalem streets are blocked to pedestrians for the full marathon runners to pass without hindrance. Not everyone is happy about that.

Full marathon runners kept coming as I stood off the road.

Enthusiastic runners some dressed in costumes,

some with a shirt for a cause they were supporting,

and others in vivid colors.

Entering the park near the starting line, was one group meeting place.

Every year it is hard to find people, this year in the harsh and changing weather it was even more difficult.

This year a group with Ukrainian flags was at the starting line.

There were large puddles just past the starting line near the Knesset and Israel Museum.

Fewer spectators were in the park this year as supporters stood clustered in spots with less mud.

After completing the races, other than the full marathon, runners had to enter the soggy park grounds from the street and go through the mud to get their medallions.

Mayor Moshe Lion and his wife got a ride to the starting line. In my opinion, anyone who ran in this year’s weather deserves a medal!

The full men’s Jerusalem Marathon winner was Ageze Guadie, 33 years old, from Israel, with a time of  2:37:17.

In past years, I also loved sharing photos of groups of runners for good causes. This year it was too difficult to cover the entire park.

So I was happy to find these smiling young ladies,

and these colorful guys from South Africa and Australia.

Serious supporters stood at the full marathon finish line.

Watching for favorites to run those last meters and cross the line.

Standing with Ukraine at the start and finish line this year.

Also, receiving less attention than the full marathon winner was Masha Radko,¬†also originally from Ukraine, who came in 2nd place for the women’s half-marathon.

Full marathon runners were headed to the finish line,

with more determined runners still coming,

as we headed home to warm up after hours in the rain.

When I prepared and posted this video, I had no idea who Tali was, but thanks to social media, I found out she is the daughter of long-time friends.

Never know what will happen on the Jerusalem streets.

I am looking forward to the warmer weather predicted soon.

Next week, will we be complaining about the heat instead of the cold?