10,000 set to participate in Jerusalem Marathon

1,000 runners from abroad to take part; mayor shows race route from platform 50 meters in the air.

By MELANIE LIDMAN
March 15, 2011 05:34
4 minute read.
Nir Barkat points out the J'lem marathon route.

nir barkat_311. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later Don't show it again

More than ten thousand runners will descend on the nation’s capital in a week and a half on March 25 for the first Jerusalem International Marathon, including a thousand runners from abroad.

Large delegations from the United States, Italy, Germany, and France will join approximately 3,000 soldiers for races of various lengths, including the full marathon (42 km) the half marathon (21 km) a 10k race, a 4.2-km fun race to benefit the Israel Cancer Society or a 400- meter dash for the Children of SHALVA, an organization that supports children with special needs.

Be the first to know - Join our Facebook page.


“My goal was to open up Jerusalem and put Jerusalem on the map of leading cities that host marathons,” said Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat on Monday. “It is a pleasure to host so many people in the marathon.”

In addition to race day, the events during marathon week include the Inaugural Sports and Health Expo at the International Convention Center from March 22-24, and the traditional pasta dinner for runners of the half and full marathons the night before the race.

“The marathon has two main characteristics, one of which is to bring runners to the city, and we hope in the coming years we’ll have even more runners taking part,” said Pini Shani, a representative of the Tourism Ministry. “The second is to show that Jerusalem is a pluralistic city and one of the world’s leading cities that has religious and historical sites but that is a city with modern life that you can run in while visiting those sites.”

Police announced that the race routes will be closed to traffic from 6 a.m. until 2 p.m. or earlier, as the runners finish parts of the race. The races start between 7 and 9 a.m. Egged buses will be changing their routes to avoid the race, and the police asked the public to avoid Derech Hebron, all of the city center and Mount Scopus. Police encouraged the public to use Begin Highway and Herzl Boulevard instead. Police also requested that people do their shopping on Thursday night to avoid extra vehicles on the road. Hundreds of young students will get the morning off from their studies to man water stations along the route.

Jerusalem hotels are operating at full capacity, the Tourism Ministry said, with 2,800 people reserving hotel rooms in connection with the marathon. The mayor illustrated the marathon’s path from a platform hoisted 50 meters into the air, from which he could point out all of the major points along the 42-km route. He also announced that the Second Annual Jerusalem Marathon will take place on March 16, 2012. Adidas, the main sponsor of the event with Toto Winner, said they planned on continuing their sponsorship in the coming years.



City councillors from the opposition had initially pressured Adidas to withdraw their funding unless the route was changed to not include parts of east Jerusalem. They sent a letter to the international Adidas headquarters in Germany, who in return sent a letter to mayor Barkat asking him to look into the matter. The route was not changed and Adidas did not withdraw their funding.

“There are things that a developed nation does not do, and they do not support occupation and sponsoring this marathon is sponsoring the occupation,” said city councilor Meir Margalit (Meretz). He said he had sent additional letters to Adidas in Germany as well as the German Foreign Ministry this week.

“If we fail, then we’ve lost, but we have to fight until the last moment,” he said. “The marathon can be an event that can bring harmony between nations, but not in our present situation, not when half of the city is occupied by Israeli control,” he said.

Margalit added that Meretz was not opposed to the marathon itself, but just the part that went through east Jerusalem.

“Meretz understood they’re making fools of themselves,” said Elisha Peleg (Likud), a city councilor who holds the sport portfolio. “There’s no political subject here. It’s for sport, culture, and tourism; there’s nothing about politics.”

Adidas Israel Marketing Manger Mike Shitrit said that the company “immediately said yes” when they were approached by the municipality over a year ago to sponsor the marathon.

“Adidas sees the Jerusalem Marathon as a strategic marathon that can bring together the hearts of the different sectors of Israel, including the Arabic minority and the Israeli Jews, all of the factions, including people from outside of Israel,” Shitrit told The Jerusalem Post on Monday.

Shitrit added that he anticipated a long and fruitful partnership between Adidas and Jerusalem for the marathon.

“We do it out of a love for the sport and a love for the city,” he said.

Related Content

Riot
August 31, 2014
Rioting resumes throughout east Jerusalem Saturday night

By DANIEL K. EISENBUD