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.