Matt Krieger ran his own marathon in Jerusalem on Sunday after superstorm Sandy nixed his plans to fly to New York — and forced Mayor Michael Bloomberg to cancel the New York City Marathon for the first time since 1970.
The 32-year-old, who moved to Israel in 2003, told The Times of Israel that he ran to raise money for ALEH, one of Israel’s largest networks of facilities for children with severe physical and cognitive disabilities.
Krieger had originally hoped to raise $2,500, but after reaching that mark he raised the bar to $3,000. “I reached that goal,” he said over the phone on Monday, after recovering from the 42.2 kilometer (26.2 miles) trek.
Krieger started his route at home in Arnona and, more than four hours later, ran laps in Sacher Park in central Jerusalem to complete his “Matt-athon.”
Before running, Krieger said the effort was “something small I could do to help ALEH and the work they do.” After the run he was noted that people could still help the children at ALEH.
Although he was the only one who completed the entire distance, he didn’t run alone. “After the first 11 kilometers I was joined by friends and supporters,” he said. When he reached the last stretch friends handed him and his fellow runners water, and he was joined by members of the Bnei Akiva youth movement nearby.
“The run was good, but very hard. Jerusalem is a hard city for runners,” Krieger summarized the experience. Even though he didn’t manage to finish in less than four hours — one of his goals — he “would do it again.”
For the New York native, the Sunday night run was his second full marathon, but it won’t be his last.
“Hopefully, next year I’ll run in New York,” he said.