I first wrote about the Jerusalem Marathon in my Chanukah series "8 races I want to run in my lifetime." Jerusalem is the holiest city in my faith. We pray about it every day and yearn for the ultimate redemption and the building of the 3rd Temple.
The inaugural Jerusalem Marathon took place on March 25, 2011. Just a few days before, a bomb killed one person and wounded many others not too far from where the race expo was being held). Within hours of the explosion Jerusalem Mayor, Nir Barkat (a marathoner himself) said that the race will go on as planned. "We will not be scared." 10,000 combined people participated marathon, half marathon, and 10k races.
I did not run the race but I know at least one friend that did. Thanks to the power of social media, I was able to find this video which was posted the New York Daily News' "Running Dialogue" blog.
The course covers many important parts of the city 3,000 year old history. From Zion and Jaffa Gates in the Old City to Ammunition Hill, one of the pivotal battles during the Six-Day War.
I turn 40 in December of 2012 and I've been giving some thought about doing something memorable to celebrate my milestone birthday. My initial was goal to try and qualify for Boston. I think I found something better. As Jewish athlete I can't think of anything more memorable than running 26.2 miles through the holiest city on earth.