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Barefoot Marathoner Enjoys Running on 'Holy Ground'


JERUSALEM, Israel -- In just a few years, the Jerusalem Winner Marathon has become one of the most popular in the world, especially for Christians.

The often-grueling route winds through the streets of Jerusalem past ancient and modern landmarks. More than 25,000 runners from 60 countries participated in the fifth annual event on Friday.

One of those runners is Rick Roeber, who runs barefoot. He told CBN News before the marathon and after what it's like to run through the streets of Jerusalem.

"This is the day that the Lord has made," a barefoot Roeber said before he started. "I'm just going to have a lot of fun. Just have a good time today. You know, it's running 26.2 miles on holy ground. And I'm going to enjoy every step of the way.

"Of course it'll be hard at times but what I tell myself, 'inch by inch, it's a cinch.' Just keep going, keep finishing, no matter what," he added.

Roeber ran the marathon in just under five hours, which he said was his goal.

"I feel very glad it's over. Everything came together this year. The weather was beautiful. The pavement wasn't too hot for my feet. It was perfect conditions to run," Roeber said after crossing the finish line.

"I felt a lot of God's grace, a lot of prayers coming up for me. That gave me a lot of strength also," he said.

"I'd just like to say Jerusalem is a wonderful town to run in. If anybody gets the chance to come here and run," he added. "It's a friendly city. Don't be afraid  God is with you."

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