First Palestinian Marathon Kicks Off

Runners cross the line at the Palestinian Marathon. Photo: Reuters

Runners from 28 countries showed up in an effort of solidarity.

In recent years, Bethlehem has been the site of tension between Israelis and Palestinians. However, last weekend, the first-ever Palestinian Marathon took place in the town famous as the birthplace of Jesus.

Approximately 650 runners completed the race.

“It’s a strange site to see people run in the West Bank,” admitted runner Dina Khuri. “Usually when people run here it has to do with violence, but this time it’s for fun.”

Because of the recent attack staged at the Boston Marathon, security was extremely tight for the race.

The race started and finished at the famous Church of the Nativity, which is known as the oldest continuously run Christian church.

Runners completed a circuit course that was comprised of four loops. According to organizers, runners from 28 nations were represented in the race.

“The situation here is of stalemate and this marathon is a positive message for people to do something to change things,” said race organizer Signe Fischer.

For More: NBC News

Top Stories

Videos

Photos