Thousands Brave Rain For Gaza Marathon

School children run 1K legs of the Gaza Marathon. Photo: AP.

The race’s proceeds raised money for a U.N. aid agency.

As far as war-zone marathons go, the recent running of the Gaza Marathon was a huge success. According to the Associated Press, over 2,200 school children and 3000 adults ran a relay race that traverses the Gaza Strip from north to south–approximately 26.2 miles.

The race was sponsored by the United Nations Aid Agency for Gaza Refugees. The race-day conditions were far from ideal with rain and unseasonably cold temperatures.

The schoolchildren completed 1-kilometer long segments, while some adults ran the full marathon.

It was Gaza’s second marathon in as many years.

Nader al-Masri, last year’s champion, prevailed again. The poor weather slowed his times down, however. His winning time was three hours and twenty minutes, which was a full hour slower than last year’s finishing time.

There were also runners from other countries participating in the marathon, including France and the United States.

Spokesman¬†Adnan Abu Hassna said the race’s primary purpose was to highlight the difficulties of life in Gaza and raise money for the U.N. aid agency’s summer camps.

For More: San Jose Mercury News

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