Saturday, May 7, 2011

Breathless in Gaza: Marathon finds unlikely home

This territory was made for such a race, some 26 miles from top to bottom.

More than 1,000 runners took part Thursday in the Gaza Strip's first marathon—or, at least covered part of the course—offering a lighter moment in a place often torn by violence and war.

"There is the New York Marathon, the London Marathon, the Tel Aviv Marathon, and now there is also the Gaza Marathon," said Chris Gunness, spokesman for the U.N. body that organized the event.
About 50 runners left the starting line at dawn, setting out on a course that went from the northern border town of Beit Hanoun near Israel, cut to the Mediterranean shore and dashed to Gaza's southernmost tip on the Egyptian border.