God's own marathon (about: 2010)|
M. I. from Hertfordshire Gt Britain (9/13/11)
11-50 previous marathons
| 1 Jerusalem Marathon
This was the first ever Jerusalem Marathon and judging by my experiences it will turn out to be the first of many. The main attraction, of course, is the course and the highlight of that is the short section through the old city where you run through the Jaffa gate past the Tower of David and the streets of the Armenian quarter watched by clergy and monks and then past the site of the last supper to emerge through the Zion gate. The rest of the course rides the various hills of the city offering panorama after panorama of the spiritual centre of the world seen,finally, at 24 miles from Mount Scopus. It would be breathtaking if the hilly course had not already done that.
The streets were traffic free and well well marshaled - no traffic no pedestrians getting in the way and lots of enthusiastic policemen giving support, Closed streets that might have made it difficult or spectators to get to the city centre too as support was poor.
Though late March the weather was cold and the air crisp at 800m so heat was no problem.
Organisation was very efficient in general thought the sharing of a T shirt with the half and 10k did devalue it a little.
Registration was simple and a good expo helped.
There were plenty of water stations and a great bonus water in bottles with sports caps ( New York, Berlin, Rome, Basel,Florence etc, etc -learn from this!!) and gels on offer too ( kosher of course in this holy city).
The rainy spell had turned the final 50m in the park into first world war no mans land but the finish was otherwise excellent and refreshments well organised.
Bad points. Distance markers were poorly displayed or even absent. Not enough isotonics and results were not on website by the end of the day nor sent by text.
Finally, why is it only the Swiss who print your name with your running number. It is such an simple way to make sure the spectators can encourage you on.
In summary, a great debut and if they fix some of the glitches it will be one of the world's greatest, though hilliest, city marathon courses.
I will be back