Tens of Thousands Run in Jerusalem Marathon; Street Closures Disrupt Traffic

Some 30,000 runners were expected to hit the streets.

Olivier Fitoussi

Some 30,000 runners were expected to take part in the sixth Jerusalem Marathon on Friday. The race began at dawn and will end in the afternoon, closing down many streets and schools in some parts of the city. Traffic tie-ups could already be felt on Thursday night and disruptions in the light rail service are expected.

The police have asked the public to refrain from using cars in the city Friday and to check for updates about street closures and openings.

Closed streets will open gradually as the runners advance.

Some 1,600 runners were expected to participate in the full marathon (42 kilometers) and about 5,000 in the half marathon. Another 24,000 were to run shorter distances of 10 kilometers and 5 kilometers, and shorter community and family runs.

Among the participants are 2,615 runners from abroad.

“The fact that in a year when Jerusalem is suffering from a wave of terror we broke a record for participants from Israel and abroad is testimony to the power of Jerusalem and the international prestige of the race,” Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said Thursday during a warmup run with a group of participants from Kenya and Ethiopia.

Ben-Zvi Boulevard was blocked to traffic beginning at 11:30 on Thursday night. The following streets were blocked on Friday morning, from 5:45: Ruppin Boulevard, the Hebrew University Givat Ram campus, Netanel Lorch Street, Rabin Boulevard, Haim Hazaz Boulevard, Tchernichovsky, Palmah, Hanasi, Keren Hayesod and King George streets, Jaffa Road, Zahal Square, Paratroopers Street, Haim Bar-Lev Boulevard, George Adam Smith, Martin Buber, Churchill, and Kariv streets, Jaffa Gate, Armenian Patriarch Road, Zion Gate, the Peace Ascent, Jerusalem Brigade, King David, Jabotinsky, Chopin, Dubnov, Emek Refaim streets, Rakevet Road, Bethlehem Road, David Remez Street, Hebron Road, Yanovsky, Yehuda, Pierre Koenig, Elazar Hamodai, Kovshei Katamon and Yehoshua Yeivin streets and Sacker Park.

Haim Bar-Lev Boulevard (Road 1) is be closed from Eshkol Boulevard Junction to Shivtei Yisrael Street. Hebron Road is closed to vehicular traffic both ways from Navon Junction to Asher Weiner Junction.

The light rail is operating partial service this morning, beginning at 5:30, from Mount Herzl to the Central Bus Station and between the Air Force station (Pisgat Ze’ev) to the Ammunition Hill station, and Ammunition Hill station to the Central Bus Station. Further information is available on the municipality website.