Jerusalem Marathon

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Jerusalem Marathon
Jerusalem Marathon logo 2013.jpg
Event typeRoad
Primary sponsorToto Winner
Course recordsMen's: 2:16:09 (2014)
Kenya Ronald Kurgat
Women's: 2:38:24 (2016)
Kenya Joan Kigen
Official siteJerusalem Marathon
Participants1,174 (2019)

The Jerusalem Marathon (Hebrew: מרתון ירושלים‎) is an annual marathon running event held in Jerusalem during the month of March. The course begins at Israel's parliament, passes through Mount Scopus and the Old City, and finishes at Sacher Park. The course record in the men's category was set in 2014 by Kenyan runner Ronald Kimeli Kurgat, and the course record in the women's category was set in 2016 by Kenyan runner Joan Jepchirchir Kigen.


Jerusalem Marathon, 2012

The Jerusalem Marathon is an international running competition held annually in Jerusalem during the month of March. Half-marathon races had been held in the city prior to the first official Jerusalem Marathon in 2011, but it was not until Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat pushed for a race conforming to international standards that the municipality made the full marathon an official annual event in the city.[1] The first full 42.2-kilometer (26.2-mile) race took place in March 2011 and drew 10,000 participants from forty countries. That year, the three leading runners in the men's race veered off course and arrived at the wrong finish line.[2][3] The 2012 event, which drew 15,000 runners including 1,500 from fifty countries outside Israel, was marked by rain, strong winds and pounding hail.[4][5] Twenty thousand runners from fifty-four countries participated in the third Jerusalem Marathon in 2013.[6] The number rose to over 25,000 in the 2014 race.[7]


Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat at the 2012 marathon
Jerusalem mayor Nir Barkat running in 2012 marathon

The starting point of the marathon is Israel's parliament, the Knesset, in the western part of the city. Runners thence loop around the Giv'at Ram campus of the Hebrew University, pass alongside the Valley of the Cross, and cross through various neighborhoods on their way up to Hebrew University's Mount Scopus campus in eastern Jerusalem. The route then descends to the Old City, taking runners through Jaffa Gate and the Armenian Quarter and out Zion Gate, on their way to the Jerusalem Forest. The race's finishing point is Sacher Park.[8][9] Jerusalem's hilly terrain makes the marathon especially challenging.[10] The religious and ethnic diversity of the Jerusalem Marathon led one Haaretz reporter to describe the race as "the most cosmopolitan event around."[11] Races at shorter distances and a fun run are held in conjunction with the marathon.[12][13]

Past winners[edit]

Key:   Course record

Edition Year Men's winner Time (h:m:s) Women's winner Time (h:m:s) Ref
1st 2011  Raymond Kipkoech (KEN) 2:26:44  Oda Worknesh (ETH) 2:50:05 [14]
2nd 2012  David Toniok (KEN) 2:19:52  Mihret Anamo (ETH) 2:48:38 [15]
3rd 2013  Abraham Kabeto (ETH) 2:16:30  Mihret Anamo (ETH) 2:47:27 [16]
4th 2014  Ronald Kurgat (KEN) 2:16:09  Alemtsehay Mesfin (ETH) 2:47:24
5th 2015  Tadesse Yae (ETH) 2:18:20  Joan Kigen (KEN) 2:45:55
6th 2016  Shadrack Kipkosgei (KEN) 2:16:33  Joan Kigen (KEN) 2:38:24
7th 2017  Shadrack Kipkosgei (KEN) 2:17:35  Emily Samoei (KEN) 2:49:25
8th 2018  Shadrack Kipkosgei (KEN) 2:21:26  Emily Samoei (KEN) 2:52:33
9th 2019  Ronald Kurgat (KEN) 2:18:47  Nancy Kimaiyo (KEN) 2:44:50

Other records:

  • Fastest Israeli woman in the half marathon course: 1:21:47, Beatie Deutsch, 2019

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Baskin, Rebecca (20 January 2010). "First Jerusalem marathon to be held in 2011". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  2. ^ Queenann, Gavriel (25 March 2011). "Diverse Crowd Gathers for First Jerusalem Marathon". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  3. ^ Chase, Chris (25 March 2011). "Jerusalem's first-ever marathon ends with wrong turn". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  4. ^ Davidovich, Joshua (16 March 2012). "Kenyan slogs out Jerusalem marathon win through soggy weather". The Times of Israel. AP. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
  5. ^ Ward, Harold (16 March 2012). "Thousands brave rain, wind for Jerusalem marathon". AFP. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  6. ^ Eli, Yossi (1 March 2013). "מרתון ירושלים: 20 אלף רצים מ-54 מדינות" [Jerusalem Marathon: 20,000 runners from 54 countries]. Nrg Maariv (in Hebrew). Retrieved 1 March 2013. למעלה מ-20,000 רצים מ-54 מדינות משתתפים היום (ו') במרתון 'ווינר' ירושלים הבינלאומי.
  7. ^ Hasson, Nir (2014-03-21). "Marathon fever hits Jerusalem: 25,000 runners take to the streets". Haaretz. Retrieved 2014-03-30. Note that the Marathon official website reported 26,000.
  8. ^ Pazornik, Amanda (27 January 2011). "Jerusalem hills won't faze local marathon runners". Jweekly. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  9. ^ "Interactive course map". Municipality of Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  10. ^ Yalon, Yori (7 March 2012). "A run through Zion". Israel HaYom. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  11. ^ Ettinger, Yair (18 March 2012). "The wetness of the long-distance runner". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  12. ^ Lidman, Melanie (26 December 2012). "Magazine ranks Jerusalem marathon among top 10 in world". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  13. ^ Hasson, Nir (16 March 2012). "Thousands set off for the second Jerusalem marathon". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
  14. ^ "Three Kenyans sweep Jerusalem marathon". JTA. 25 March 2011. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |dead-url= (help)
  15. ^ Kuttler, Hillel (16 March 2012). "Ethiopian immigrant is top Jewish finisher in Jerusalem Marathon". JTA. Archived from the original on 29 September 2012. Retrieved 2 February 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
  16. ^ "East Africans, American clinch six top spots in Jerusalem race". JTA. 1 March 2013. Archived from the original on 7 March 2013. Retrieved 2 March 2013. Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)

External links[edit]