Kenyan Runner Wins Jerusalem Marathon

Roland Kimeli Kurgat beats previous record by 19 seconds. Mayor Nir Barkat praises large turnout.

Neri Weiss ,

Running in the Marathon
Running in the Marathon
Amit Weiss

Roland Kimeli Kurgat, a 28-year-old from Kenya, has been named the winner of Friday's Jerusalem marathon, completing the 26 miles in just two hours and 16 minutes. Kurgat's time beats last year's finishing time by 19 seconds, making a new record. 

Over 25,000 runners competed in the marathon; 2,500 of them flew in to participate from 54 different countries. Of those, 1,858 ran a full marathon; 4,728 ran a half marathon; 11,335 ran the ten-kilometer run; and 434 ran the five-kilometer race. A majority of 68% of the runners were men.

Mayor Nir Barkat participated in the half-marathon, and met winners and finishers on the finish line of the many races held in the Holy City. 

"The marathon is a statement that Jerusalem is on the map, that the world understands that we have normality, openness, and security in Jerusalem," he stated. 

Gilad Shalit, the Jerusalem HaPoel soccer team, and several local celebrities also participated in the event, representing charity organizations.