Jerusalem Marathon 2022: Ukrainian refugee wins full marathon

Despite the cold weather and occasional rain, 25,000 runners showed up to run in the 11th Jerusalem Marathon.

 Valentina Versca, 32, escaped the war in Ukraine and won the full marathon in the Jerusalem Marathon, March 25, 2022.  (photo credit: Sportphotography)
Valentina Versca, 32, escaped the war in Ukraine and won the full marathon in the Jerusalem Marathon, March 25, 2022.
(photo credit: Sportphotography)

The 11th annual Jerusalem Marathon began early Friday morning, kicked off by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion firing the opening shot for the half marathon at 6:45 a.m. and the full marathon at 7:00 a.m. 

The winners of the full marathon were announced around 10 a.m.: Agadi Guadi, 33, from Israel, at 2:37:17, and Valentina Versca, 32, from Ukraine, at 2:45:54. Versca, a professional runner from Ukraine, escaped the war in time and ran in the marathon. 

The marathon has caused road closures throughout the city, with public transportation in several areas grinding to a halt for the duration of the race. Several bus routes have been changed and light rail services have been altered to accommodate the race.

Despite challenging weather, about 25,000 people are expected to participate today. Sponsored by Winner, the Jerusalem marathon is the largest international marathon in Israel. 

Running alongside Versca ran a party of 40 refugees and Olim will run in solidarity with their homeland.

 Agadi Guadi, 33, from Israel, wins the full marathon race at the Jerusalem Marathon at 2:37:17, March 25, 2022.  (credit: Sportphotography) Agadi Guadi, 33, from Israel, wins the full marathon race at the Jerusalem Marathon at 2:37:17, March 25, 2022. (credit: Sportphotography)

The marathon includes six different races: A full marathon of 42.195 km, a half marathon of 21.0975 km, a 10 km race, a 5 km race, a 1.7 km race and an 800 meter race.

Two runners were evacuated to the Hadassah University Medical Center in Jerusalem. The first is 55 and suffered from hypothermia, and the second, 19, suffered from fever and general physical weakness. 

 Valentina Verska, ukrainian runner, in the 11th jerusalem marathon (credit: ARNON BOSSANI) Valentina Verska, ukrainian runner, in the 11th jerusalem marathon (credit: ARNON BOSSANI)
 The 11th Jerusalem International Winner Marathon, March 25, 2022.  (credit: Sportphotography) The 11th Jerusalem International Winner Marathon, March 25, 2022. (credit: Sportphotography)
 
 The 11th Jerusalem International Winner Marathon, March 25, 2022.  (credit: Sportphotography) The 11th Jerusalem International Winner Marathon, March 25, 2022. (credit: Sportphotography)

The event is expected to end near 2:00 p.m. in order to allow the participants to return home before Shabbat.

This is a developing story.