International Bible Marathon
International Bible MarathonBinyamin Council

Nearly 4,000 men and women ran in this year's International Bible Marathon.

The marathon was held in the Shiloh bloc of communities, starting and ending in Ancient Shiloh.

Yarom Packer (men) and Ducel Huidobro (women) were the winners of the Eighth Bible Marathon.

The marathon was held for the eighth consecutive year, sponsored by the Binyamin Regional Council. The thousands of runners came from all over Israel – families, running groups, children, soldiers, persons with special needs – and participated in the various races.

Packer, 31, of Tzur Hadassah, completed the 42.2 km run in just over 3 hours and 15 minutes, and Huidobro, 33, of Jerusalem, had a finishing time of just over 4 hours and 16 minutes.

Second place winners were Helmuth Sanford, 26, of South Dakota, USA, (men, 03:59:11) and Ela Filog, 37, of Beersheba (women, 04:02:32).

The Bible Marathon, which is also supported by the Jewish National Fund, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Culture and Sports, is one of five marathons held annually in Israel, and is considered the most challenging.

All the routes went through the valleys and over the hills surrounding Shiloh, past vineyards, springs and the pastoral Binyamin communities.

The Finish Arch was in Ancient Shiloh. There, among the antiquities of the ancient biblical city of the Tabernacle, the runners received a special clay medallion that is unique to the Bible Marathon. In addition, runners of the full marathon, who completed the tough challenge of running 42 kilometers through difficult terrain, also received a pottery plaque with the Hebrew inscription, “Man of Binyamin.”

The Bible Marathon featured five different routes: full marathon, half marathon, 10 km and 5 km races, a route for families and an especially exciting 800m race, in conjunction with Lev Binyamin, for special needs children.

At the thrilling awards ceremony, held among the buildings of Ancient Shiloh, Binyamin Regional Council Governor Israel Ganz, Marathon Israel CEO Ofer Padan and Binyamin Tourism Director Moshe Rontzki presented the happy winners with the large clay jugs that have become part of the tradition of this event, and are a replica of the jugs from the Tabernacle period that were found in the excavations of Ancient Shiloh.

Binyamin Regional Council Governor Israel Ganz ran the half marathon, and as he presented the medals to the winners he said, “We are raising our heads and our flag here in the Binyamin region, specifically now. The tens of thousands of people who toured this region throughout the Sukkot holiday were joined this morning by thousands more, from all over Israel, walking and running to connect with the pathways of the land of the biblical forefathers.”

He added: “We will continue to hold first class events here in Binyamin. Each year, new groups join their hearts to the unique qualities this region has to offer. We thank our many partners in the production of the Eighth Annual International Bible Marathon.”