Major West Bank Artery to Close for Israel's First 'Bible Marathon'

Ramallah-Nablus will be closed for the event recreating a Biblical run Rosh Ha'ayin to Ancient Shiloh.

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The first 'Bible Marathon,' an Israeli sporting event meant to recreate a Biblical run from modern-day Rosh Ha'ayin to ancient Shiloh, will kick off this Thursday – but for some the running event will mean a grind to a halt.

Construction site in the West Bank settlement of Shiloh, June 21, 2010.Credit: Moti Milrod

A Palestinian official told Ma'an news agency that the Palestinians expect the Ramallah-Nablus road, also known as Route 60, to be closed during the marathon.

On its website, organizers of the event invite Israelis to take part "in a huge athletic event including hundreds of runners from throughout Israel and the world over. The runners travel the course of the Man of Benjamin, culminating in a huge, exciting EXPO event among the ruins and mosaics of ancient Shiloh."

Two weeks ago, some 3,000 Palestinian runners and foreign rivals turned out for the third Palestine Marathon, with the race won by Nader al-Masri of Gaza, who said he normally trains “between the rubble of destroyed homes.”

This year 46 runners from the Gaza Strip took part in the race in the Bethlehem area. The athletes ran two laps of the same route because the organizers couldn’t find 42 kilometers (26 miles) of uninterrupted road under the control of the Palestinian Authority, they said.

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