Nader al-Misri, who competed in the 5000 metres at the Beijing Olympic Games, won the Gaza Marathon on 5th May 2011 in a time of 02:42:47.
The UN Agency for Palestinian Refugees organised the race to raise money for the children’s Summer Games in the territory. Their efforts were successful – US $1 million has now been made available for the annual competition.
Only 9 runners entered the race, but around 1500 Palestinians took part in relays along the course or in the half marathon race. Two of the nine marathon runners were foreign aid workers: Frenchman Sebastien Trives, who is deputy director of UNRWA’s Gaza operations, and his colleague Gemma Connell, an Australian who organised the event.
Gaza is exactly 42km long, making a marathon event the furthest possible distance for athletes to run in territory without tracing a circuit.