Jerusalem marathon 25.3.11
Runners participating in the first annual Jerusalem marathon, March 25, 2011. Photo by Daniel Bar-On
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Some 15,000 runners, including about 1,500 from abroad, set off for the second Jerusalem marathon on Friday morning. 

Runners are taking part in various races, including a full marathon, a half marathon, a 10-kilometer race and a shorter fun run. The starting line for the marathon was next to the Knesset.

Proceeds for the fun run, a 4.2 kilometer route that is 10 percent of the length of the full 42-kilometer marathon, will go to the Israel Cancer Association.

City officials have expressed satisfaction at the size of the international contingent and the increase in the number of hotel reservations in the city surrounding the event. Jerusalemites, however, will also have to contend with closed streets and traffic jams this morning. Some schools in the center of the city will not be open today.

A run through history

The marathon route includes a stretch along the walls of the Old City, Sultan's Pool, Mishkenot Sha'ananim, Mount Zion, the German Colony, the Haas Promenade, Ammunition Hill and Mount Scopus.

The finish line is at Sacher Park, where a large facility has been built for the runners. The marathon website describes the event as a run through history.

Streets along the race route will be closed to vehicular traffic, particularly in the center of the city. Public transportation will be halted in part of the capital, and the light rail route will be split in two. The city's thoroughfares are expected to return to normal in the afternoon.