When nine Scottish runners took part in the Palestine Marathon in March, they found themselves running in a race like no other. The route, which snakes through the dusty streets of Bethlehem, passes watchtowers, refugee camps, and barbed wire fences. It weaves past checkpoints, piles of rubble, and the Church of Nativity, built on the spot where Jesus is supposed to have been born. Most notably of all, the route can only go 11km before it needs to double back on itself. In war-torn Palestine, there isn’t a stretch of road longer than this that doesn’t meet with a wall or one of Israeli government’s checkpoints. Completing the full 42km marathon route therefore involves running back and forth along the same stretch of road, often in the shadow of the graffiti covered wall that runs 440 miles along the whole of the West Bank. ‘We live in a city with borders we cannot escape,’ says Aseel Baidoun, a 28 year-old Palestinian runner. ‘In each direction you have a checkpoint, a settlement or an 8m high cement wall. It’s choking, and running feels like my only way to breathe.’ It’s this lack of freedom of movement that Scottish film-makers Cairsti Russell… Read full this story
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Running in the shadow of the wall: What life is like for Palestine's female marathon runners have 350 words, post on www.mirror.co.uk at June 27, 2018. This is cached page on GameMax. If you want remove this page, please contact us.