Some 1,500 Palestinians were up before dawn Thursday to participate in the Gaza Strip's first-ever marathon, DPA reported.
The race, organized by UNWRA, the UN agency caring for Palestinian refugees, spans the entire strip, from Beit Hanoun in the north, to Rafah on the border with Egypt.
Only a handful of professional Gaza athletes were running the full marathon, while amateurs and school children ran either the half marathon or 10 kilometres .
The weather was particularly hot, even for May day, as locals spurred them on from the side of the road or watched from the windows of their homes.
UNRWA (the UN Reliefs and Works Agency) initiated the event to raise money for its Summer Games for Gaza school children. It said it had just exceeded its goal of 1 million US dollars.