Ukrainian refugee Valentina Verzka won the 11th edition of the Jerusalem Marathon that was held on Friday (25) in Jerusalem, Israel.
Verzka fled Ukraine to Poland with her daughter, while her husband remained in Ukraine and served in the army in the war against Russia,had asked the race organizer through the social to help her get to Israel, so that she could tell about the atrocities that are taking place in her country after the Russian invasion.
Verzka who came to this race a personal best of 2:38.51, lived to her expectations as she was on the top of the world after clinching the title while waving her countries flag in a time of 2:25.54.
“It was a difficult marathon with a strong wind. After 20 kilometers there was a difficult ascent, but it was a beautiful place. This is my first time in Israel.”
“We have a difficult situation in Ukraine and I run for peace. I wish for peace not only in Ukraine but all over the world, for a better future for our children,” said the teary Verzka.
The men’s division was won by Daniel Guadi in a time of 2:37.17 hours, he was 1:36 minutes ahead of Barhan Balta, who made a mistake on the track and was disqualified at the end. The one who took second place on the podium at his expense was Gazacho Fanta who set a time of 2:42.21.
The race course record for both genders of 2:16.09 and 2:38.24 that was set by Ronald Kurgat and Joan Kigen in 2014 and 2016 respectively remains standing.