Reporter's Notebook: The race must go on

I never imagined that I’d be asking the same question exactly a year later, after another terror attack, a day before the marathon.

March 16, 2012 01:50
1 minute read.
Melanie Lidman, Nir Barkat running

Melanie Lidman, Nir Barkat running 150. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

The déjà vu was inescapable: Elbowing my way to the front of a group of reporters, asking Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat, yet again, “Is the marathon still going to go forward?” Last year, I credited Jerusalem’s unique spirit with propelling me over the finish line of the capital’s first annual marathon, just two days after a bus bombing that killed one woman and wounded 39.

But I never imagined that I’d be asking the same question exactly a year later, after another terror attack, just a day before the race.

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But at the expo at the Jerusalem International Convention Center, during the pasta dinner ahead of the race, thousands of runners chowed down on carbs irrespective of recent political events. Just like last year, not a single runner pulled out of the event after the terror attack, according to the municipality.

“The message to terrorists is you will not succeed in destabilizing us,” Barkat said earlier at the hospital when he visited the soldier who was wounded in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem on Thursday morning.

Security has been heightened in the city, but the race will go on as planned.

Police will deploy 400 officers along the course, and will have a mobile command center in cooperation with the Jerusalem Municipality.

Earlier at the hospital, someone stopped Barkat and asked, “Is the marathon going to happen?” He began to give her the same mantra about not letting terrorists win.

“No, no, not about that,” she said, dismissively. “I wanted to know if it’s going to happen, because I heard it’s going to rain!”

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