Jerusalem, Israel - Mar. 15, 2019 - The Jerusalem Winner Marathon was held on Friday morning, March 15, 2019. This is the largest social marathon in Israel, which includes a special 800 meter social track, in which 6,000 runners and more than 15 associations participated. Among the non-profit organizations participating were Aleh, Shalva, Kav L'Chaim, the Israel Cancer Association, the Center for Rape Victims and Sexual Assault, the Koby Mandell Foundation, Kav LaNoar, Chayenu, the Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levine, Yachad, One Family with 400 runners, AMIT, Gefen Fertility Center, Sulam, Run4Kids@SdotNegev2019 of Connections & Links, which enhances the Resilience Training at the Maagalim Elementary School in Sderot Negev, and more. A group of young people formed a team to raise money for a food truck in memory of Ari Fuld, z"l.
RabbisCanRun, and Baltimore Rabbi Binyamin Marwick, for Lama'an Achai, at social charity in Beit Shemesh, participated and were in Jerusalem's Sacher Park, on the sunny and cool erev Shabbos morning of the race. After torrential rains on Thursday, the ground was muddy, but booths were open for merchandise and various non-profits.
The Jerusalem Marathon is more than a sports competition. One example of many, Maayan who lives in Modiin, decided that instead of gifts, in honor of her bat mitzvah, she wanted people to donate to a cause dear to her heart "Ohr Meir VeBracha," an organization which provides food on a weekly basis for those less fortunate, and year round supports families of victims of terror. She was joined by her family, including uncles and aunts, who also ran.
Hotels in the city are at full capacity with more than 21,000 tourists expected to stay in the capital for the week leading up to and after the marathon. This year there is a 15% increase in international participants, which will include 4,600 runners from over 80 countries including the United States, Italy, China, Germany, England, South Africa, France, Poland, the Netherlands, Hungary, Tanzania, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Honduras, Costa Rica, Zambia, Guinea, Macau, Venezuela and Chile. The flags of runners home countries flew near the starting line, with the Syrian flag next to the Stars and Stripes of the United States.
The prizes for the full marathon are 1st place - $3,750, 2nd place: $2,500, and 3rd place - $1,250. /// from Kenya won first place, and was given his medal by the full marathon finish line by Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion.
Of the 40,000 runners participating in the 9th Jerusalem Winner Marathon, which included many with Maryland connections, and former mayor Nir Barkat doing one of the 10K races, a large majority are more involved with running for fun and raising funds for charity. The event was expected to bring a record 4,600 international runners and an unprecedented 20 million in revenue to the city, which will be invested in the development of businesses and social projects in the city.
However, the atmosphere of participants and spectators supporting runners and each other was priceless.