April 13, 2024
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Jerusalem 10K: A Marathon for Everyone

Last week, the streets of Jerusalem were filled with pounding feet. Thousands from around the world gathered to compete in the Jerusalem Marathon. With six different tracks available, this is truly a race for everyone.

On March 18, the runners for the 42.2km full marathon set out from the Knesset following a course that traversed the city from Mt. Scopus to the old train station and back to cross the finish line at Sachar Park. Last year’s winner, Tadesse Yaee Dahbi from Ethiopia completed the course in 2 hours, 18 minutes and 20 seconds.

With the unique compact nature of Jerusalem, even the shorter tracks allowed runners to pass some iconic areas and constantly changing scenery. The half marathon track passed the ancient Old City on its way to the modern East Talpiot before returning to Park Sachar to the finish line. For runners who wanted to compete but are not yet ready to face the full or half marathons, there were 10km and 5km options. The 5km run had two groups, competitive and community, giving runners the chance to race with only themselves as competition.

Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat said “The Jerusalem Marathon is not just for champion runners. It’s not just for amateurs. It’s also for children with disabilities and the organizations that unite them and us.” Children with disabilities might not seem like the obvious group to be taking part in a marathon. But the Jerusalem marathon is for everyone.

The Jerusalem Marathon is designed to give every ability level a chance to join in. The 1.7km family run starts at 10:30 a.m. and gives young and old a chance to take part.

Founded by Jerusalem charity SHALVA, the 800 meter community race gives everyone the chance to take part. With wheelchairs and walkers, the children of SHALVA join runners from around the city and the world to prove that they too can be champions.

SHALVA offers high quality care for children with disabilities, empowering them and supporting their families. As well as helping to organize the Community Race, SHALVA also fields a sponsored team that runs to raise money for the charity. Much of the money raised by Team SHALVA 2016 will go towards the new SHALVA building due to open in September.

This year over 2,000 runners from outside Israel flew in to take part in the marathon. The SHALVA team is the largest group of international runners with over 200 coming to run with SHALVA. Among them will be Lisa Flanzraich, she explained, “Last year I did the marathon in memory of my son Evan. I had signed up to do the 5km run but after seeing a young boy with a walker work so hard to finish the 800m community race, I knew I had to up my game and finish the 10k run!” Joining Flanzraich and her fellow international runners in Team SHALVA are over 600 other runners in the competitive and community races.

The sight of disabled kids putting their whole heart into the race inspires even the most exhausted runner.

For more information about Team SHALVA see www.run4shalva.org. To register any of the marathon tracks see www.marathon-jerusalem.co.il.

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