Thousands of runners take part in Jerusalem Marathon

By Naomi Firsht, March 21, 2014
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Running for charity this morning in Jerusalem (Photo: Twitter/ Chai Lifeline)

Running for charity this morning in Jerusalem (Photo: Twitter/ Chai Lifeline)

Jerusalem hosted its fourth annual marathon today, with over 26,000 runners taking part.

Roads across the centre of the city were closed to cars as the crowds turned out to see Kenyan athlete Ronald Kimeli Kurgat come home in first place in a course-record time of 2 hours and 16 minutes.

He was one of 2,460 foreign runners from 54 different countries participating.

As the well as the main 26-mile race, the event included a half-marathan and fun runs.

City mayor Nir Barkat, a keen runner, also took part.

The race is regarded as particularly challenging because of the hilly course.

Israeli runner Guy Gordon told the Times of Israel: “It’s by far the hardest in Israel and one of the hardest in the world.”

“In marathon tourism, there’s the bucket list of the classic five and a few wild cards, and Jerusalem has become one of the wild cards,” he added.

Thirty-seven runners were injured during the race, with one being evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital suffering heat stroke.

Last updated: 4:01pm, March 21 2014