Zachy Hennessey
March 11

The 13th International Jerusalem Winner Marathon saw a record-breaking turnout on March 8, with 40,000 participants running a route that wound its way past iconic landmarks such as the Knesset, the Old City walls, the Path of the Prophets, Mount Scopus and more.

Among the runners were 15,000 IDF soldiers, both in reserve and regular service, along with members of security and rescue forces, and 1,800 international runners. In a touching tribute, participants ran in memory of fallen soldiers and civilians.

The highlight of the event was the victory of Melkamu Jember, a 33-year-old Israeli who clinched first place with a time of 2 hours, 35 minutes and 39 seconds. Nega Mekete, 36, secured second place with a time of 2:41:33, while Yotam Kaplan, 31, claimed third place with a time of 2:43:38.

Adding to the significance of the day was International Women’s Day, marked by Noa Berkman from Israel triumphing in the women’s race, clocking in at 2:55:42. Elena Tolstykh from Russia followed closely behind, securing second place with a time of 2:58:22.

An enormous Israeli flag was hoisted by runners at the outset of the race, paying tribute to those affected by the war with Hamas. Photo by SportPhotography.
An enormous Israeli flag was hoisted by runners at the outset of the race, paying tribute to those affected by the war with Hamas. Photo by SportPhotography.

The day commenced with symbolic gestures, including the unfurling of a massive Israeli flag and a special music session by DJ Yarin Alouf. Mayor Moshe Lion, along with other dignitaries, kicked off various races, including the half-marathon and full marathon, paying tribute to individuals impacted by the ongoing war, including the hostages still being held in Gaza by Hamas.

Mayor Moshe Lion addresses the 2024 Jerusalem Marathon. Photo by SportPhotography.
Mayor Moshe Lion addresses the 2024 Jerusalem Marathon. Photo by SportPhotography.

“Since its establishment, the Jerusalem Winner Marathon has become one of the most experiential and professional sports events for every athlete in Israel and around the world,” he said.

“Thanks to the thousands of IDF soldiers in the reserves and regular service and to the runners from the security and rescue forces who came to participate in the country’s largest sports event in the capital of Israel.


“We all hope for the swift return of all the captives to their homes and families, and for the speedy recovery of all our soldiers on the front lines,” Lion added.

The next Jerusalem Winner Marathon is scheduled for March 2025.

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