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A Tale of Two Marathons 2017: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat running in the 2012 International Jerusalem Marathon, Photo by Kobi Gideon / Flash90
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A Tale of Two Marathons 2017: Tel Aviv, Jerusalem

23 February 2017 Efraim Roseman

2017 Tel Aviv Marathon (Fri. 24 Feb)

The Promo: Non-Stop party in a non-stop city, the best weather, 14km of beautiful beaches, 450 bars and 1320 restaurants.

Whoa!

Tel Aviv is referred to in Hebrew as "עיר ללא הפסקה", literally "The city that never stops". So it seems.

The 2017 marathon is the ninth Tel Aviv Marathon to be held since its revival in 2009 (it was originally inaugurated in 1981 and was held annually until 1994).

Marathon runners will enjoy a beautiful run along the seashore and the main streets of Tel Aviv, an official UNESCO world heritage site.

Expected turnout: 40,000.

And what about Jerusalem?

Seventh International Jerusalem Marathon (Fri. 17 March 2017)

Well, Jerusalem is Jerusalem! Mayor Nir Barkat, who made his fame in hi-tech, describes the experience: "Participants run through the very streets where kings and prophets walked, against the backdrop of Jerusalem's cultural and historical landscapes. It is a unique and breathtaking experience."

Let's face it, a totally different kind of Whoa!

Besides the renowned Machane Yehuda marketplace and the Mamilla luxury shopping promenade, participants will experience Jerusalem's "historical architecture, narrow alleyways, and the sense of the ancient Jerusalem stone beneath your feet as you enter the Old City through Jaffa Gate".

There's more: "Behold the glorious Tower of David, part of the fortress built in the second century BC to protect the city. Run through the Armenian Quarter, the smallest of the four quarters of the Old City, and recall Jesus' final journey down Via Dolorosa… The course then continues alongside the Jewish Quarter for a glimpse of the Western Wall." It continues, but I think by now we've got the idea.

Since its inception in 2011, turnout has increased from 10,000 to 30,000 runners, with 3,000 international participants.