Originally published by Ma’an News Agency on March 27, 2015.
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — More than 3,000 people took to the streets of Bethlehem Friday to participate in the third annual Palestine Marathon in support of the Right to Movement of Palestinians under occupation.
The crowd of runners included both Palestinians and internationals and nearly equal numbers of women and men. Organizers said they managed to secure entry for 50 Palestinians from Gaza, who are normally restricted by Israel from entering the West Bank.
One Gazan runner — Nader al-Masri — even came first in the marathon with a time of 2 hours, 57 minutes, and 14 seconds. The result was hardly a surprise, however, as al-Masri is Palestine’s most famous runner and even participated in the 2008 Olympics.
After Israel refused him to allow him to enter the West Bank and participate in last year’s marathon, his victory in Friday’s marathon offered a story of triumph even amid the suffering of Palestinians — especially Gazans — under Israeli occupation.