Friday, April 1, 2016

An inside look at the palestine marathon from an unregistered runner

Today i woke up at 6 am on my weekend. Seriously concidered going back to sleep. Then convinced myslef to wear my running gear and get out of my grandmas house in bethlahem. 

We rode the car with my mothers photographer and arrived to the nativity church. Everything felt exactly like christmas except there wasnt a tree and it was morning. 
The square was not crowded. There were mostly forgeiners but after some time the square filled up with many people from different backgrounds and orginins. There wasnt any perosnal space. Not even to warm up.
I expected such a thing. We arabs like to try new things. At least to get a picture out of it. 
The marathon was spilt into two teams 10K team and the 21 and 42 team. 
The music was so loud we couldnt hear each other. Some warmed up and at 8:00 sharp(surprisingly) the 4th right to movement marathon began. After 15 minutes the 10K marathon started running. 
I was runing with my mother, brother and a friend. The truth is that we barely ran. We walked the running marathon like no other. 
We ran first to the wall, passed the ayda rafugee camp and continued on to the main route in Bethalhem. It was depressing knowing that we had to go back. 

It wasnt something forgein for the bethlehem people, they warmly welcomed and encouraged the runners, i thought that they would judge us but was very much mistaken. Some runners helped The handicaped by pushing them. The police also took the matter in a great way by ushering the best routes for car drivers and helping out. Planting such an undertanding on how to handle such an event is amazing. 

On some stops we were given water and fruit. I was pretty disapointed to find plastic cups thrown all over the ground. I hated the view so much. 

Many NGOs ran for great causes such as the right for women hertige. These groups ran together. They shouted, sang and raised signs. It really raised awarness for such cases. I loved how such a marthon had so much to tell. 

The whole aura of the marathon was exciting and very welcoming. No judging was involved and everybody was laughing. Some sang traditional songs on the way. I felt connected with everybody. I really felt like i was part of something special. That i completed something special. 

It took my two hours to finish the marathon. An hour longer than most of my friends. Becuase i was unregistered i wasn't  allowed to feel the moment of completing the martohn through the finish line but yala it was for free. You see i came with my mother as press. Thats one of the many perks of being the daughter of a journalist. 

When we finished we danced a bit, talked a lot and then ate hummus. 
I walked an extra 3 kilometers to my grandmothers house which felt like hell. 
At that moment the 42 kilometers runners were finishing their race. 

When i arrived. I went straight to bed. But when i woke up i heard that the soldiers threw gas at the camp. I laughed at how they didnt throw it when there were forgeiners running around.They don't want to ruin their image that badly. The wall was enough. 

All in all, it was an amazing marathon. The sights we visited were great. The feeling of being united was there. Next year i will surely do it again. Hope next time that i actually run though.

2nd of april. 

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