Whether you’re a pro, a newbie running for the first time or simply a traveller who’d like to experience a new country in an atypical way, one thing’s for sure: at the Jerusalem Marathon , you’re in for incredible and inspirational moments of human endurance and triumph as well as one-of-a-kind travel experiences. That’s right, get ready for fitness, fun, falafel, faith and fulfillment.
Don’t believe us? Here are 6 reasons to convince you to pack your bags and book your marathon tickets pronto:
1.you can run through the archaic streets where Jesus once strode
The route of the marathon zig-zags through the narrow alleyways and architecture from Jerusalem’s rich past. Not only will you get to see the Knesset (Israel’s Parliament Building), President’s Residence, Sultan’s Pool, Jaffa and Zion gates, Ammunition Hill, as well as the Tower of David which was built in 2 B.C., you will also be walking and running through the cobblestone streets where kings, prophets and Jesus once walked.
2.you can run to help those who can’t
This isn’t just another marathon; hundreds of people participate to raise funds for various charities around the globe, such as ‘Shalva’ which helps children with special needs move beyond their limitations or ‘OneFamily’ which is dedicated to terrorism victims and their families, and to support social causes such as ‘Runners without Borders’ which brings young Arabs and Jews together, to try to bridge the ever increasing gap between the two cultures.
3.you can even choose a distance option that best suits you
If you don’t feel like running the entire 42.2 km stretch (trust us, we totally understand), there’s the 21.1km half marathon, the 10km race, a competitive 5km race, a family special 1.7km run and even a 800m community race. Either ways, you’re going to become a stronger, more focused and fit person.
4.you will be cheered on in languages you never knew existed
30,000 participants from 62 different countries took part last year and it’s going to be even higher in 2017. You will be greeted, saluted and cheered on in languages ranging from Turkic Uzbek to Swahili – which is, interestingly, the national tongue of both the Men and Women’s full marathon winners from 2016 (no, sucking up to them in Swahili will not give you an edge).
5.you’ll get to indulge in pre-marathon relaxation therapy
Just the day before the marathon, you will head to the Dead Sea, the lowest point on Earth and the biggest, widest natural spa on earth. Cleopatra, according to legend, ordered Mark Antony to conquer the region so that she would have a lifetime supply of its mud, which is believed to have healing and rejuvenating properties. Like the famous queen, you too can apply the mineral-rich mud and then wash it off as you lean back into the Dead Sea waters, float and relax before the big day ahead.
6.you will travel back in time as you visit jerusalem’s most holy sites
Walk in the footsteps of history’s most revered figures as you visit ancient and holy sites, including the Temple Mount which houses the Dome of The Rock which is, Muslims believe, where the Prophet Muhammad ascended into heaven, as well as the Wailing Wall and Via Dolorosa which is believed by Christians to be the path that Jesus walked on his way to the crucifixion.