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Jerusalem Marathon Runners Describe City as 'Breathtaking'


JERUSALEM, Israel -- An upsurge in terrorism in Israel over the last six months didn't stop this year's Jerusalem Winner Marathon.

"Definitely it's safe," Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat said. "We have not cancelled any of our events in the last seven years."

"And thank God you will see tomorrow people are happy at our events, how open Jerusalem is, how people are not aware that Jerusalem is one of the safest cities in the world, in the world – per capita our crime rates are at the floor," Barkat told CBN News.

With 1,800 security personnel on duty, Barkat said holding the marathon is the best way to combat terrorism.

"It's beautiful, beautiful scenery, well-guarded and protected and the best way to fight terror is to continue doing what we plan to do anyway and that's exactly what we're doing in Jerusalem," the mayor said.

More than 25,000 runners participated in a variety of races, including a marathon, half-marathon, 10k and other community and family competitions.  Nearly 2,600 runners from 65 different countries came to take part. 

The route winds through the streets of the "new" city of Jerusalem and enters the Old City at the Jaffa Gate.

Organizers said some say the Jerusalem marathon is "breathtaking" because of the beautiful and historical scenery. Others say it's the rolling hills that make it breathtaking.

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