Historic, scenic, challenging and rewarding – those are the first four words that come to mind when I think about running the Jerusalem Marathon. And, hills. I cannot forget the hills. I had the opportunity to run this epic race – I took on the half marathon – and it was undeniably one of my favorite running experiences.
Race Spotlight: Jerusalem Marathon
The Jerusalem Marathon is one of five race events held in Israel. With seven different races, it attracts more than 26,000 participants from more than 60 countries around the globe. Set in one of the most holiest places in the world, the Jerusalem Marathon is a destination runners dream offering historic sites coupled with a well-organized, fun race.
Hand cycle race
Social race 800 meters
March 18, 2016
Yes, it’s a multi-generational event that has distances for all ages and fitness levels.
Make sure to schedule plenty of time before and after the race to taken the sites and experience the culture of Jerusalem; and to adjust to the time difference when traveling from the U.S. or other countries and timezones.
The Old City, The Tower of David Night Spectacular and the Israel Museum are must do’s when visiting Jerusalem which was named one of Travel & Leisure’s top 10 cities to visit in 2015. As for any race, make sure to your legs the day before – we took a Segway Tour and saw some breathtaking views of the city. Plan to visit Masada (King Herod’s Fortress) and the Dead Sea after the race. The healing properties in the sulfar pools and the salts in the sea are soothing and healing – perfect for race recovery.
What makes this race special?
The location makes this race spectacular. The full and half marathon courses take you through the Old City and several other historic sites in Jerusalem. The participant and crowd energy was electric adding to the thrill of running in such a special destination. It was the most challenging half marathon I’ve done, but the beauty of the course almost makes you forget about the hills. Almost. The timing of the event is also attractive. Set in Jerusalem’s short springtime, the race morning temps were cool and comfortable starting in the high 40’s, rising to the high 50’s.
What you need to know
- It’s hilly. It’s a GORGEOUS course, but it’s hilly. Train accordingly.
- Marathon – 6 hour course limit; 18 year old +
- Half Marathon – 3 hour course limit; 16 year old +
- 10K – 1:40 course limit
- Many of the streets close so plan parking and driving to and from the race accordingly.
- It has a large expo
- The spaghetti dinner is complementary for marathon runners. It was a large buffet with plenty of healthy options.
Yes, there are medals and t-shirts.
Size of the Race
Approximately 26,000 total participants
Approximately 2,500 run the marathon
Approximately 5,000 run the half marathon
Early registration for the 2015 marathon started at $55; $43 for the half. Check the website for the 2016 fees.
For more information, www.jerusalem-marathon.com