Run to Tell a Different Story in Palestine

Runners in Palestine exercise their right to movement as marathon season gets underway.

On April 26, over 30,000 runners will participate in the annual London Marathon. On the same day, the Madrid, Hamburg and Siracusa marathons will also take place.

Popular long distance races occur all year long throughout the world, and they provide countrymen with a focused challenge, uniting runners across the full spectrum of athletic ability and contributing greatly to their national sports culture. These events also bring in tourism — a decent deposit to the economy, with each race allowing a proportion of overseas runners to enter.

As such, London, New York, Madrid and Paris — to name a few — have become goals and ambitions of many runners from amateur ranks to the professionals.

In 2011, Israel placed Jerusalem on the list of international city destinations for sports tourism, and two years later, Bethlehem in the West Bank joined the assemblageWB_R2M.

On March 27, 2015, over 3,000 participants joined the Palestine Marathon — the latest addition to international athletic events — a number that grew from 650 in 2013 to approximately 2,500 in 2014.

However, the Palestine Marathon is not just vying for a space among the other global players. This race has a very special message: Athletes run to tell a different story and highlight the lack of movement West Bank residents have on their own land, which is greatly impacted by the security barrier that was imposed throughout the Palestinian Territory in 2002. This is why the event has been titled the “Right to Movement, Palestine Marathon.”

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