Jerusalem, Israel - Mar. 16, 2017 -The 7th Jerusalem Winner Marathon is scheduled for Friday, March 17, 2017. Over 30,000 runners from 60 countries are to participate in full and half marathons, 10 kilometer, and shorter races.
Jerusalem's Sacher Park is central area to all the races, with starting and finishes lines nearby. Huge direction signs have been posted at Jaffa Gate and around Jerusalem, Israel, in anticipation for Friday. At the Israeli President's Residence, a large sign from President Reuven and Nechama Rivlin wishes runners well.
International runners include Milind Soman, a Bollywood actor and producer who plans to run barefoot. Soman, on his first trip to Jerusalem was very excited and emotional as he spoke and was warmly greeted by Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat at a press conference before the marathon. Soman is not the only marathoner who has done over 100 marathons and is running barefoot.
Streets will be closed, some schools will not be able to run normally. Traffic will be limited in much of Jerusalem, Israel, erev Shabbos.
However, the marathon attracts tens of thousands to watch and share in the excitement with the runners, plus, millions of shekels are raised for charity.
The Jerusalem Winner Marathon is the biggest social race in Israel, with a record of 6,000 runners running to promote social causes, participants in the race include families, children, and various organizations. Israeli Olympic medal winner Ori Sasson is to run with Shalva. 1,000 runners, including 350 international runners, from 20 schools from US, Canada and United Kingdom, are also coming to participate in Team Shalva.
A few of the organizations which also will take part in the race include, The Israel Cancer Association, Shalva, Chaiyanu, One Family, Merkaz Panim, Aleh which runs with Israeli Police helping their disabled students, Crossroads, Lone Soldier Center in memory of Michael Levine, AMIT, Team Shira from AACI, Darkenu, Kav LaNoar, Koby Mandell Foundation, Tishkofet, Kav LaHayim, and Melabev. As usual, thousands run with the IDF and various Israeli hospitals.
The marathon track goes up and down the hills and through the streets, highlighting the old and new of Jerusalem, especially significant this year marking 50 years of unification.