Life in the Palestinian territory of Gaza is far from normal.
It’s overcrowded, lacking in basic infrastructure, and overflowing with weapons…which makes it all the more remarkable that the UN organizes a marathon there.
As one official put it, “the race shows that Gaza could be a normal place if it got the chance.”
Well, it won’t get the chance this year. The UN has just canceled the race.
But let’s put your geographical knowledge of Gaza to the test.
The Gaza Strip is about 26 miles long, perfect for marathons. The course for the Gaza Marathon runs the full length of the coastal territory.
Can you name the cities that would have been the starting point and finish line?
That’s the Geo Quiz. Run with it.
UN organizers have pulled the plug on the marathon because Gaza’s Hamas authorities banned women from taking part. The announcement is here.
Swedish marathoner Naiti Del Sante was one of the foreign competitors who completed in the 2012 Gaza Marathon. She says the starting point of the race is the refugee camp near the Israeli border called Beit Hanoun, and the finish line is near the Egyptian border in the city of Rafah.
Del Sante says the decision to cancel the marathon is ridiculous, it’s left her feeling sad and angry.