Kenya’s Ronald Kimeli Kurgat won the fourth annual Jerusalem Winner Marathon on Friday, setting a new course record.
The 28-year-old completed the 42.195 kilometer race in two hours, 16 minutes and nine seconds, claiming the $10,000 prize for improving the previous course best.
Kenya’s Patrick Wachira Muriuki finished in second place in a time of 2:16.35h, while 37-year-old Luka Kipkemoi Chelimo crossed the line in third after 2:18.08h.
Demsmtsehay Mesfin of Ethiopia won the women’s marathon (2:47.24h), edging countrywoman Yachem Lemelem Berha by five seconds, with Kenya’s Bulbula Abebech Etcha finishing a mere two seconds further back.
Some 25,000 runners took part in the various races, which also included a half marathon and a 10km race.
Medics treated 37 injured participants, including one in serious condition due to heat stroke. The man in his 20’s was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem.
Nalie Gebre won the half-marathon in a time of 1:11.37h, with Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat finishing after 2:22.47h.
“As a marathon runner who has run five marathons across the world I can say with full confidence that nothing compares to running in Jerusalem,” said Barkat. “This run combines breathtaking and inspiring sights, fresh air and a challenging course.
The Jerusalem Marathon has established itself as one of the most important marathons in the world, a unique marathon every runner has to run. This marathon puts Jerusalem with the likes of New York, Berlin, London and Paris, who all hold international marathons. The marathon has a massive contribution to tourism and the economy and it connects more and more audiences with Jerusalem.”
The mayor said the marathon had become a huge draw to Israel’s capital.
“The Jerusalem Marathon is a major event in our country and highlights the importance of the meaning of our city,” he said.
“One of my goals is to open up Jerusalem for the benefit of the world to enjoy, to create opportunities for people to come and enjoy our city, and touch its stones.”