Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat will be running in the ING New York City Marathon to raise awareness of Jerusalem as the world’s top destination site for tourists and pilgrims. The mayor will be joined on November 1 by more than a dozen friends from Israel and will continue on a fall tour of North America.

Barkat said: “I am excited to be running in this year’s ING New York City Marathon. In Jerusalem, we are focused on returning Jerusalem to its historic role as an international destination site for tourists and pilgrims – a task similar to running a marathon. I will be as committed and focused on my mission throughout the marathon as I am in my mission in Jerusalem.”

In Jerusalem, Barkat is investing resources in professional sports, sporting groups for youth and the construction of a world-class Jerusalem Arena to house sporting events, international conferences, and concerts.

Barkat, who runs about three miles from his home to the office several times a week, has a long history supporting athletics, having run marathons in Berlin, Paris and Israel in recent years and having raced jeeps throughout Europe and Africa, including in the Paris-Dakar Rally.