Exercising the right to movement

A self-described ‘non-political’ West Bank marathon gets more than 3,000 runners moving to highlight the restrictions Palestinians face.

April 2, 2015 16:17
The Palestine Marathon

Participants run in Israeli Bible Marathon in the West Bank town of Bethlehem.. (photo credit: REUTERS)


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You could immediately tell that running a marathon was new to the West Bank. During warm-ups, a bystander offered up a cigarette (“To relax! You must calm down”); around mile seven, a man brewing coffee on the side of the road was pouring cups for runners (“For speed”); and toward the end of the course, another man offered liquor (“For the pain”).

Warming up for the third annual Palestine Marathon last Friday, more than 3,000 runners danced and stretched to the sound of Top 40 pop music well before 7 a.m. The temperature was above 25º, but many athletes were wearing head scarves and full-body coverings.


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