The second annual Jerusalem Marathon on March 16 included three open races: a full marathon (26.2 miles), a half marathon (13.1 miles) and a 10K (6.2 miles). By newspaper accounts, some 15,000 people participated in one of the three, although official race results online showed 7,084 finishers. Many of the runners were from the Bay Area; their results and some of their impressions are included on these pages.
10K (56:55) 1,207th overall,
1st in men’s 70-74 division
Why in Israel: “I happened to be on a trip with a tour group, and I realized a month or so before that it coincided with the race, so I signed up right away.”
Running tale: “When I got to Sacher Park in Jerusalem, I watched the half marathon starting, and then the 10K for the IDF soldiers started. That was really inspiring!” He had run some 5K and 10K races in the Bay Area, “but nothing major.”
Quote: “Walking around afterward, people were in such great spirits, my whole mental feeling was lifted by the experience of the crowd. It’s something I’m never going to forget.”
Souvenir: A lot of Israeli music CDs, including Eyal Golan and Moshe Perez.
Half marathon (2:07:21)
729th in men’s 20-39 division
Why in Israel: Living in Tel Aviv until July and doing an internship with a tech startup through a Masa Israel program called Career Israel.
Running tale: “It was peer pressure by my roommates, ha-ha. But I’m very happy I ended up going through with it. I signed up 10 days before and kind of winged it.” He had run one long race before, the Bay to Breakers in 2007.
Quote: “It was amazing seeing all the historical sites while I ran. And I remember all of the support and the music, and the people on the side of the race shouting ‘kol hakavod!’ (well done). It really inspired me, giving all the kids high fives as I ran past. They definitely gave me more energy to keep on going.”
Souvenir: Job experience. “If you know anyone looking to hire, please let me know!”
10K (1:18:59) 3,237th overall,
137th in men’s 45-49 division
Why in Israel: For the annual Murray Fromson Media Mission to Israel, sponsored by American Associates, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev. The five-day tour of the Negev fortuitously ended one day before the race.
Running tale: “I had never run more than a 5K before, and only a few of those at that. I wasn’t sure I could make it, but the rain and bone-chilling cold actually helped — better that than 90 or 100 temperatures — although not as much as the spirit and the energy of the runners and the spectators.”
Quote: “I’m only sad that they weren’t able to promote this race better, and make the signup process more accessible. It’s only been run twice, so hopefully things can get more organized and it can become one of the great marathons of the world.”
Souvenir: Shabbat candlesticks.
Half marathon (3:43:57) 2,327th overall,
8th in women’s 60-64 division
Why in Israel: Specifically to run the marathon, as a tribute to a mentor and to raise money for a microfinance nonprofit that gives loans to poor people.
Running tale: “I had run four marathons, but not for 18 years. I knew if I trained I could do it, but in the 10 days before I got to Israel, I got a bad cold and I couldn’t do the long-run training I needed. So I did the half instead.”
Quote: “I could have gone anywhere, but I’m glad I chose the Jerusalem Marathon. Israel is like the center of innovation and creativity, so I used that as way to teach people that supported me on this run about Israeli entrepreneurship.”
Souvenir: Her husband, Peter, brought back two shofars.
Half marathon (1:36:59) 137th overall,
10th in men’s
Why in Israel: After graduating from Gunn High School, and before entering Davidson College in North Carolina, Brown was spending some of his gap year doing a volunteer program with Magen David Adom (Israel’s Red Cross).
Running tale: “I had done one other half marathon, in the Marin Headlands. I enjoy running as a hobby, but I’m not super into it or anything.”
Quote: “It was a special experience, running all throughout Jerusalem and seeing the Old City. I’ll never forget how the spectators lined up for almost the whole length of the race, even though it was cold and rainy.”
Souvenir: A bunch of candy and some