We love this story about some unlikely participants in the upcoming Jerusalem Marathon– and the surprising people who are helping them train.
The fifth annual Jerusalem Marathon is only a couple of weeks away. Among the race participants busy now with final training is a group of young people with disabilities who will cover the course thanks to specialized equipment and the support of 20 dedicated Israeli police officers.
These young people gearing up for the marathon’s 800-meter community race are residents of ALEH, a medical and rehabilitation facility providing comprehensive care to children and young adults with severe impairments. Most of them cannot walk, but that it not stopping them from ditching their wheelchairs and striding along Rupin Road with police escorts.
For several months, the police officers from Jerusalem’s Lev Habira station have been coming to ALEH’s building in the capital’s Romema neighborhood once a week to help get the residents in shape for the big race. Most of the volunteers come in uniform, while those who show up even on their day off wear civilian clothing.
. . . The athletes and their coaches haven’t let the cold, rainy, and even snowy winter weather get in the way of their two-hour training sessions. On nice days they’ve practiced outside, and when the weather has been inclement, the police have put the kids through their paces indoors.
This active partnership was initiated by Adi Parnasa, a Lev Habira station officer whose 30-year-old sister is an ALEH resident.