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.
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. 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. 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. Twenty thousand runners from fifty-four countries participated in the third Jerusalem Marathon in 2013. The number rose to over 25,000 in the 2014 race.
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. Jerusalem's hilly terrain makes the marathon especially challenging. The religious and ethnic diversity of the Jerusalem Marathon led one Haaretz reporter to describe the race as "the most cosmopolitan event around." Races at shorter distances and a fun run are held in conjunction with the marathon.
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|||
|2nd||2012||David Toniok (KEN)||2:19:52||Mihret Anamo (ETH)||2:48:38|||
|3rd||2013||Abraham Kabeto (ETH)||2:16:30||Mihret Anamo (ETH)||2:47:27|||
|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|
- Fastest Israeli man: 2:32:31, Asrat Mamo, 2011
- Fastest Israeli woman: 3:09:50, Beatie Deutsch, 2018
- Baskin, Rebecca (20 January 2010). "First Jerusalem marathon to be held in 2011". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Queenann, Gavriel (25 March 2011). "Diverse Crowd Gathers for First Jerusalem Marathon". Arutz Sheva. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Chase, Chris (25 March 2011). "Jerusalem's first-ever marathon ends with wrong turn". Yahoo! News. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Davidovich, Joshua (16 March 2012). "Kenyan slogs out Jerusalem marathon win through soggy weather". The Times of Israel. AP. Retrieved 1 February 2013.
- Ward, Harold (16 March 2012). "Thousands brave rain, wind for Jerusalem marathon". AFP. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- 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.
- 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.
- Pazornik, Amanda (27 January 2011). "Jerusalem hills won't faze local marathon runners". Jweekly. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Interactive course map". Municipality of Jerusalem. Archived from the original on 27 April 2007. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Yalon, Yori (7 March 2012). "A run through Zion". Israel HaYom. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Ettinger, Yair (18 March 2012). "The wetness of the long-distance runner". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Lidman, Melanie (26 December 2012). "Magazine ranks Jerusalem marathon among top 10 in world". The Jerusalem Post. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- Hasson, Nir (16 March 2012). "Thousands set off for the second Jerusalem marathon". Haaretz. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- "Three Kenyans sweep Jerusalem marathon". JTA. 25 March 2011. Archived from the original on 15 April 2013. Retrieved 2 February 2013.
- 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.
- "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.
- Jerusalem marathon 2012 in pictures (The Guardian)
- Ready, set, run! (The Jerusalem Post)
- Running in Jerusalem Marathon helps S.F. artist gain clarity (Jweekly)
- Survivor who escaped Nazis runs Jerusalem Marathon (Yahoo! News/AP)
- "My vocal epiphany racing in the Holy Land" – Ben Kaplan (National Post)
- Reporter's Notebook: More than just a race – Melanie Lidman (The Jerusalem Post)
- Despite the weather, Vancouverite finishes run – Fred Tischler (The Jewish Independent)
- Egyptian-American man sends a message while running last week's Jerusalem marathon (Public Radio International)