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?

Jerusalem Looking Up and Down

There are days Jerusalem feels like one big construction site. Taking advantage of the pleasant weather, I walked around to see what’s new on the Jerusalem streets and to share with you.

The lights are on again at the Israel Museum as night events are returning.

The corner where King George Street becomes Keren Hayesod Street near Paris Fountain is so dangerous for pedestrians, we now have a crossing guard. The sidewalk is so ripped up, sometimes two men are on duty.

The street adjacent to the new National Library is finally without any visible construction equipment.

Walk past the library you see the new government offices rising to the sky.

Walk around them and look across the Begin Highway to the new hi-rise apartments of Kiryat Moshe. A row of these is planned to replace the old smaller dwellings. The row of three hotels near the city entrance which used to be considered tall is dwarfed in comparison.

And then there is the Jerusalem Gateway project!

When the gate was open, I entered hoping to find a shortcut. I had a meeting near the main bus station, an area of Jerusalem that has continually changed over the past three years.

As always, my shortcuts end up taking longer. However what a sight this was, digging down and down.

This was a photo taken in 2012 of the Jerusalem Gateway project.

These photos are of the same part of Jaffa Road as it is now.

And a closer look at the construction rising well above ground level.

Nearby is the old Shaare Zedek Hospital on Jaffa Road that has had several tenants since the last patient left its stone walls. The 5th Jerusalem Biennale for Contemporary Jewish Art is set to open here on November 11th.

The area behind it and the blue fence is to be a major building project.

Construction cranes and wires obstruct the view of the Chord Bridge.

Looking down its seems that it will be a long time before this is finished.

But all around Jerusalem, the development projects start by digging down.

Then look up and there’s more being lifted in and out of building sites.

Our local builder buddies ask for their photos often when I walk by.

Who remembers when this hotel was the only tall building in Jerusalem?

The Hilton Hotel, which became the Crowne Plaza, is now the Vert Hotel.

But, soon it will have competition for the tallest hotel and King George Street will have a new look.

Seeing the second group of foreign tourists greeted in the Vert lobby was exciting. Hopefully, international tourism will begin again. Individual visitors, not just groups, have a possibility to come into Israel as of November 1, 2021. But, there is a long list of legal requirements to enter.

This is the view of Cinema City and the Supreme Court from the Vert.

Another view over the new residential buildings and hotel.

And my favorite, the view of Nachalot, on a clear evening, with the mountains in Jordan visible on the other side of the Dead Sea.

Attending an event in the Vert Presidential Suite, I took a little tour for you

and checked out the loo in the impressive Presidential Suite.

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Oh, what a view at night!

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No matter which direction, day or night, the Jerusalem streets are impressive to walk or stroll or to run.

Here’s hoping the 11th Jerusalem Marathon is again an international one.

And next? Check out the options from 131 Open Houses later this month.

Jerusalem 10th Marathon

The Jerusalem Winner Marathon 2020, finally took place on October 29, 2021. The excitement was high, though this time it was not an international marathon. There are plans for the International Jerusalem Marathon to return in March 2022.

Few people remember the last Jerusalem half marathon in 2010. Those were smaller events, with only a few thousand runners. The race caught most drivers by surprise with random street closings.

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Last year, the launch for the 10th Jerusalem Marathon was held at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on the evening of January 20, 2020.

A week later the streets were shut down in Jerusalem while the world watched the events marking the 75th year since the liberation of Auschwitz.

Then the world shut down because of Covid-19 and the marathon was postponed and then canceled.

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The finish line, which looked just like this year’s, was taken down.

This past week the Jerusalem Marathon was back and streets were closed.

Many streets were even repaved for the Jerusalem Marathon runners.

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The new playground at Gan Sacher, Sacher Park, was not ready in time.

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At a pre-marathon event at Notre Dame, the view from the roof was better

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than the one at Cinema City for the pre-marathon pasta party.

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The lineup at Cinema City for runner check-in seemed to run efficiently.

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The pasta and salads served were excellent. I waited a long time for the Mayor to come, but he never did, and I finally gave up and went home.

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One line in Cinema City long when I arrived and still when I left hours later.

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Not lines of families going to see a movie, but lines for corona testing!

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The full marathon finish line in the park was being prepared early in the week and was ready to go the day before.

The winner 29-year-old Israeli Yamar Gethon had a long lead along the way.

He zipped by me, but I got other full marathon runners HERE

WordPress is not letting me share more photos now – so next time.

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The Piano Festival, Oud Festival, the Manofim Contemporary Art Festivals,

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and the International Animation Festival and Biennale are back.

Facebook photos of the Jerusalem Marathon can be seen HERE

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The Jerusalem streets are finally coming back.

Hope to see everyone here soon!