JERUSALEM — About 15,000 athletes braved rain and wind Friday to compete in Jerusalem’s second international marathon.
David Toniok, 27, from Kenya, won the race in 2 hours, 19 minutes, 52 seconds — beating last year’s win by fellow countryman Raymond Kipkoech by nearly seven minutes.
Strong winds and cold rain made for less-than-ideal conditions on steep hills. But the city’s ancient holy sites gave the run a unique appeal, drawing about 1,500 runners from overseas.
Overall, about 1,000 participants were expected to complete the full 42-kilometer (26.2- mile) race.
They dashed through the walled Old City, alongside the president’s residence and up Mount Scopus to circle the campus of Hebrew University.
Others attempted shorter distances, including Mayor Nir Barkat who ran a half-marathon.
Ethiopian Gudeta Biratu took second place in the marathon, finishing in 2:22:42, while John Mutai from Kenya finished third in 2:23:31.
The fastest woman runner was Mihiret Anamo Antonios, from Ethiopia, at 2:48:38. She was trailed by Kamila Khanipova from Russia who finished in 2:49:20 and Alena Vinitskaya from Belarus, with 2:50:33.
Despite the city’s tough inclines, authorities hope to elevate Jerusalem to the list of cities that host major annual marathons.
Stabbed soldier wakes up
A large police contingent was deployed and streets were closed for security reasons during the marathon.
On Thursday, a Palestinian stabbed an Israeli soldier on the city’s light rail. Yehudit Aharon suffered non life-threatening injuries to her lungs from the attack.
Aharon woke up Friday morning, and doctors were able to unhook her from a breathing machine, according to the News 1 website.
Doctors told the site that the knife missed her heart by centimeters.