Jerusalem Marathon attracts over 40,000 participants for annual race
The winner of the full marathon was Kenyan runner Ronald Kimeli Kurgat, posting a time of two hours, eighteen minutes and forty seven seconds (2:18:47).
By ZACHARY KEYSER
Thousands of runners showed up in stride for Friday's ninth annual Jerusalem Marathon, launched by the efforts of Mayor Moshe Lion.In a record showing over 40,000 runners participated in today's events, with some 6,500 runners hailing from over 80 different countries, on tracks spanning over six locations spread throughout the Jerusalem area. Some of the tracks main focus' are to raise awareness on a myriad of social issues, including children with disabilities, in the hopes of bringing light to new ways of combating these issues on the home-front.The six tracks included a full marathon race (42.195 km), a marathon race (21.1 km), a 10 km race, a 5 km race, a family race of 1.7 km and an 800-meter race being dedicated to social issues.Hotels in the city were full to the limit, bringing it a revenue of around NIS 20 million.Mayor Moshe Lion hosted a special 800-meter social race in which 6,000 runners will participate in raising awareness of social issues, starting at 8:30 this morning.The podium this year was dominated by Kenyan runners.The winner of the full marathon was Kenyan runner Ronald Kimeli Kurgat, posting a time of two hours, eighteen minutes and forty seven seconds (2:18:47). Just two minutes behind the 2014 record Kurgat set as the winner of the Jerusalem Marathon four years ago.AdvertisementSecond place went to Kenya's Shadrack Kipkogey, followed in third by Jonathan Kipchirchir Chesoo."The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is a national sports event that attracts not only families and athletes from Israel, but also attracts foreign tourism, and thousands of tourists from 80 countries came to experience the Marathon as a sporting challenge and a global tourist destination," Moshe Lion said regarding Friday's event. "This year, the Jerusalem Marathon is expected to break the all-time high in both the number of participants and the number of tourists and foreign runners arriving in Israel. It's going to be a sporting weekend in the capital that will bring in NIS 20 million for businesses in the city, I congratulate the marathon runners and wish everyone a happy marathon."Many of the participants showed up in their runner's gear independently, whether for sport or for social change, whereas many other runners joined packs of advocacy groups and associations championing new research and programs combating these social issues in Jerusalem.Shalva, the Israel Association for the Care and Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities, in an initiative to raise money to support their programs for children with disabilities, brought a large contingent of marathon participants to the event including 650 runners from all over the world and 1,000 additional runners who joined their team on the Community Run to support their cause. This is Shalva's tenth year participating in the Marathon.The international World Bnei Akiva movement brought some 300 members and alumni to "join together from countries around the world to run the Jerusalem Marathon along with terror victims and IDF soldiers." Among them, Eitan Hermon, Paralympics marathon champion who set the world record for single-leg amputee runners.Starting at 11:30 AM, 6,000 children, parents and grandparents participated in a "unique family race" spanning over 1.7 kilometers of Jerusalem paved streets.Participants within the police forces kicked off Friday's event from the police station in Lev Ha'Bira, to run in the special 800-meter social race, running alongside 6,000 other runners. The police ran with the children of the Aleh association for students who are characterized by complex mental disabilities.Police units were deployed to secure the safety of the runners throughout the day, directing traffic and blocking off roads to non-participating personnel, scheduling to end at 1:30 PM. Hundreds of paramedics, nurses and doctors were also in attendance at Friday's event, stationed all along the six tracks. No medical emergencies were reported, seven participants were evacuated from the event in a mild condition after suffering fainting, exhaustion, heat blows and minor bruises.In addition.Police also called on the public throughout the week to limit thir use of private cars and public transportation in lieu of Friday's event's.