Many of Jerusalem’s streets were closed off on the morning of March 13 as over 25,000 people participated in the annual Jerusalem Marathon.
Participants included 2,200 people from 60 countries other than Israel and 6,000 people were running to raise money for charity.
The race’s winner was Tadesse Yaee Dahbi, from Ethiopia, who completely the 42-kilmoter course in 2 hours, 18 minutes, and 20 seconds.
Magen David Adom paramedic teams treated about 40 runners throughout the morning for bruises, dehydration, and other mostly non-serious issues.
One woman required evacuation to the hospital.
The race began at 6:45 a.m. and was expected to end some time after noon. Streets would gradually reopen until 2 p.m.
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat participated in the race. He wrote on his Facebook page ahead of the event: “Even if you’re not taking part, come down to cheer on the runners in the streets of Jerusalem and to enjoy performances and bands along the route… and one big celebration throughout the city.”
A group of 161 runners representing OneFamily, an organization dedicated to terrorism victims and their families, were in attendance as well.
Spearheading the group was Israel Defense Forces commander Aharon Korav, who was critically injured by a booby-trap bomb during Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip during the summer of 2014.
“In every difficulty from large to small, one should look upward, take time to breathe, and maintain a constant state of development,” Karov said before the race. “Part of my development has been with OneFamily, giving me an opportunity to give strength to others while strengthening myself and those around me.”
Also participating in the race was the group “Runners Without Borders,” which consists of a dozen Arab, Jewish, and Armenian girls running together as a part of a grassroots initiative.
High school student Shoshana Ben-David, who formed the group, told The Times of Israel ahead of the race that she “wanted to do something for teenage girls, because I saw that girls are doing a lot less sport than the boys are doing. So I said, why not kill two birds with one stone? Let’s combine this together with doing something about the terrible political situation.”
“This is not a political project, it’s about a personal connection with the person who lives next to you,” explained Ben-David. “When we discover things we have in common, I am able to understand more about them and where they come from, and they do the same about me.”
Another group that struggled against the odds to compete was that of young people with disabilities.
They participated in the marathon’s 800-meter community race and are residents of ALEH, a medical and rehabilitation facility providing comprehensive care to children and young adults with severe impairments.
The 15 participants used various walkers and apparatuses to move along the track, with the help of police volunteers.
Shutaf, a Jerusalem-based organization championing year-round inclusion programs for children with special needs, also had representatives in the 800-meter stretch, including their children and their families.