Tens of thousands run in 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon

Noah Kigen Kiprotich, 34, wins main race, while fellow Kenyan Margaret Njuguna finishes first among women; police reopen roads as event comes to an end

Thousands of runners take part in the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon on Jaffa Street, March 17, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Thousands of runners take part in the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon on Jaffa Street, March 17, 2023. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Around 30,000 runners from Israel and across the globe joined the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon on Friday morning.

Hundreds of police, Border Police, security officers and volunteers patrolled Jerusalem’s streets to ensure public safety and direct traffic during the race, which is set to conclude by the early afternoon.

Noah Kigen Kiprotich, 34, from Kenya, finished the main marathon race with a time of 2:18:13. Margaret Njuguna was first among female competitors with a time of 2:52:44.

Many Jerusalem streets were closed from as early as 3 a.m. Police announced shortly before 1 p.m. that roads were reopened, with the exception of Rupin Street, which remained closed for clean-up efforts.

Competitors participated in six races — the full marathon (42.2 kilometers), half-marathon (21.1 kilometers), 10 kilometers, 5 kilometers, family race (1.7 kilometers), and the community race (800 meters) for people with special needs.

Jerusalem’s light rail offered limited service due to the marathon route — from Chel Ha’avir to Ammunition Hill station, and from Jerusalem’s Central Bus Station to Mount Herzl.

Noah Kigen Kiprotich from Kenya reaches the finish line first during the 12th annual Jerusalem Marathon, March 17, 2023. (Arie Leib Abrams/Flash90)

Among the marathon participants was a group of over 100 activists wearing t-shirts representing protest groups against the government’s plans to overhaul the country’s judiciary.

Protesters against the proposals also planned to rally at stations and bridges along the marathon route.

Another notable entrant, Rom Carmi, known on social media as Barefoot Rom, was set to run the half marathon without shoes.

Carmi said Thursday that he’s motivated by the meditative aspects of running, and what he sees as the opportunity to be connected to the ground and the environment with his bare soles hitting the sidewalk.

Jessica Steinberg contributed to this report.

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