The Jerichon is a long distance run from Jericho to Jerusalem.
The distance is about the same as the traditional marathon and
is modeled on the latter. However, the big difference is that
the run is not meant purely for marathon runners but also for
those not so well trained runners who can cover the distance at
their own rate.
The Jerichon is an initiative of the Dutch conceptual artist Rob
Schrama. In contrast with the marathon which is usually run along
a level route, the 35 kilometers of the Jerichon is a steady climb:
from 400 meters under sea level in Jericho to 1200 meters above
at the finish in the
old city of Jerusalem.
The Jerichon takes the
participants through one of the
world’s most beautiful
nature reserves, Wadi Qelt, a colorful gorge and canyon, surrounded
by rocks reminiscent of desert with the remains of an aqueduct
from Herodes’ times. This in the holy books frequently described
route runs past the famous abbey of Saint George under the grotto
where Jesus meditated and fasted for forty days.
The Jerichon will surely be a challenge for long distance runners.
The course is heavy; it will be a journey of suffering and hardship,
for everybody who is making this exceptional trip. That is why
the Jerichon is suited for all those who wish to take the suffering
of his nation upon their shoulders, thus embodying in a symbolical
way the idea of lightening these burdens in Jerusalem. A journey
Representatives of all the peoples on earth who groan under their
burdens caused by poverty, repression and war, can view the Jerichon
as a challenge. Long distance runners from all over the world
and representatives from areas of conflict are invited to partake
of the Jerichon.
By participating of the Jerichon they will focus attention on
the problems of their people. Participants for example from India
and Pakistan, Sudan and Darfur, but above all from Palestine and
Israel can run the Jerichon. They will be supported by a colorful
procession of artists who perform during the journey and before
departure in Jericho to lightens the load of the runner and make
the journey into a special experience. Needless to say doctors
and relief workers stand by along the route to give first aid
and assist stranded participants.
Sufficient water supplies will
The Jerichon will be a journey of reconciliation and forgiveness;
of the letting go of suffering and taking hold of understanding.
The finish lies in the Old City of Jerusalem. It would be great
if the finish could be situated on top of the Temple Mount, the
most perfect location for salvation.
The Jerichon is an event which fits into a series of activities
which artist Rob Schrama organizes and prepares in Jerusalem.
All the events emphasize Jerusalem as a city of reconciliation
and unity; a city for everyone, for Muslims, Jews and Christians,
for Palestinians and Israelis. The yearly Jerusalem Hug – this year June 21st – forms an example, as well
as the Pyramid of Light about which the artist is negotiating
with the city council of Jerusalem.
All these events can be linked together. After walking the Jerichon
the Pyramid of Light will appear after dark above the
old city of Jerusalem, under which on the Rooftop Promenade the people will come together for moments of silence and
prayer. The following day the Jerusalem Hug will be covered
along the walls of the old city: hand in hand the participants
will stress the oneness of the city to everyone, accompanied by
artists and spiritual leaders from all over the world.
On 10-10-2010 Jericho started to celebrate the ten thousand years of
its existence.The intention is to plan the Jerichon on an as yet to
stipulate date, also because such a large international sports
event need a considerable period of preparation.
The Jerichon could acquire the same legendary status as the Marathon.
And that is why we want to turn the Jerichon into a yearly event,
which, it may be hoped, will be still held when Jericho celebrates
its 20.000th anniversary.
The Mayor of Jericho, Mr. Hassan Saleh Hussein, has shown his
enthusiasm about the Jerichon, as well as Palestinian peace organization
and the Palestinian sports federation.The first Jerichon will
be planned for April 2012.