Shalom Life | March 31, 2014

Ronald Kimeli Kurgat Sets Jerusalem Marathon Record

The Kenyan-born marathon runner finished in just over 2 hours, 16 minutes

By: Graham Sigurdson

Published: March 21st, 2014 in Sports » Israel

On Friday, Kenyan Ronald Kimeli Kurgat finished the Jerusalem Marathon with a record time of two hours and sixteen minutes, specifically, 2:16:06.

With this time, Kurgat set a new record for the course, beating last year’s winner - and record setter - Ethiopian Abraham Kabeto Katale, by almost four minutes.

In 2013, Katale finished in 2:16:29.

This year's marathon was Jerusalem’s fourth annual, with over 25,000 runners participating in the half marathon, 10k, 5k and 800 meter events. According to the city, 2,460 foreign runners from 54 countries also participated.

Ethiopian Alemtsehay Mesfin Demse finished first for the women side of events with a time of 2:47:21, with Lemelem Berha Yacher taking second with a time of 2:47:25. On the men’s side, Kenyan Patrick Wachira Muriuki took second with 2:16:32.

Some political tensions arouse when a group of protesters stepper onto the course and began to run alongside participants, waving Palestinian signs and flags. The group was subsequently stopped by Border Police.

Protests aside, the naturally hilly terrain of Jerusalem made for a difficult course, which, instead of being a deterrent, had instead brought attention to the marathon. Guy Gordon, a local runner said that “It’s by far the hardest in Israel and one of the hardest in the world. In marathon tourism , there’s a bucket list of the classic five and a few wild cards, and Jerusalem has become one of the wild cards."

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