New record set in the world's oldest marathon - in Samaria

Following in the footsteps of the most ancient marathon track, runners make their way through Samaria for 5th annual Bible Marathon.

Arutz Sheva Staff,

Winners of the Bible Marathon
Winners of the Bible Marathon
Marathon Israel

The Annual International Bible Marathon was held this morning for the 5th year in a row, and gathered 4,000 participants from all over the world. The marathon is one of five official Israeli marathons and is the most exciting and challenging one of them all. The marathon which starts in the city of Rosh Ha’ayin and ends in the Tabernacle site of Shiloh, follows the footsteps of one of the first runs recorded in history, when a man of Benjamin ran to report the results from the battlefield. He ran from Ebenezer to Shiloh, the city of the Tabernacle, as mentioned in the Bible, in book of Samuel.

Many centuries later, the founder of the Maccabiah games, Yosef Yekutieli, set out to measure the length of the course from Rosh Ha’ayin to Shiloh, in the Benjamin region. He was amazed to find that the length of this historic path precisely matched that of the modern marathon – 42 kilometers (the official length of the Olympic running contest, determined in 1908 at the London Olympics).

The Bible marathon included five heats. The full marathon from Rosh Ha’ayin to Shiloh, half a marathon form the city of Ariel to Shiloh, heats of 10 KM and 5 Km and a special heat for children with special needs, Of 800 meters.

Amongst the runners this year, participated over 200 international runners from 23 countries, including USA, Brazil, Russia, Sweden, Singapore, Spain and more. A unique delegation arrived for the first time from Entebbe, Uganda, a city with a very special connection to Israeli history with the famous story of Operation Entebbe, 1976.

The winner of the Marathon, Adiso Oskano from Rishon Letzion, broke a record with a score of 3:02:42. He stated that his ambition to run the marathon was "to test himself and the route of the run. It was tough but fascinating."

At the finishing ceremony, which was held in the archeological site, the winners received medals as well as a symbolic pottery vessel, replica of the unique ancient vessel found in Shiloh. The marathon is a spectacular production, cooperation of the Benjamin, Ariel and Rosh Ha’ayin municipalities, produced by Marathon Israel Company.

Israel Gantz, Governor of Benjamin Region: "I am proud and excited to stand here again and host the 5th international Bible Marathon. It is astonishing to have international runners from all over, connecting to the roots of the Bible and running in the footsteps of the Man of Benjamin. It is a Great honor to host the world's most ancient running competition, here in the hills of Benjamin."

CEO of Marathon Israel, Ofer Padan: "When I heard the historical story of the man of Benjamin from my Colleagues in the Benjamin who were interested in reviving the ancient run, I understood that this is an amazing concept, one that will draw runners from Israel as well as from all over the world. This is a unique biblical challenge that continues the tradition of the people of Israel. From year to year we see more runners from all religions and countries arriving specially to take part in this outstanding event.




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