Marathon man Farmer to speak at Limmud-Oz

ULTRAMARATHON runner Pat Farmer says the true peacemakers are “not necessarily the political leaders, but the people themselves”.

Farmer – who last year completed a 1450 kilometre Middle East Peace Run through Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and the West Bank – will speak about his philosophies on peace in the region and how sport can help bridge the gaps between communities and countries when he presents at the Limmud-Oz conference next month.

Speaking to The AJN ahead of the conference, Farmer said the run for peace last May was an “incredible experience”, and enabled the runner to “immerse myself in the cultures of the countries I ran through and understand the struggles to daily life faced by everyone in the region”.

“The one thing that shone through more than anything was the resilience and hope the people of Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and Palestine have,” he said.

Farmer said he was inspired to organise and participate in the peace run because of his friends, who come from Jewish and Arab backgrounds.

“[They] have different religions to me; however, we all share a hope for peace and freedom in the world, and we all share the commonality of humanity and we acknowledge that. Although we all call our maker by a different name, we all believe in one God,” he said.

Farmer recalled some personal experiences during last year’s run.

“One lady who ran with me in Israel near Haifa told me that she followed my progress and was so moved by what I was doing that she asked herself what could she do aside from run with me to show support,” he said.

“She took her daughter to the local Arab markets near their home, a place where she was told by the leaders of her country she would not be welcome; however, she and her daughter were very surprised when they found that the people were the same as her and appreciated her business. This gave her the chance to build a friendship and helped her to realise that one person can make a difference.”

Farmer is onto his next project, planning a run in India to help the very poor with education.

“I would like to return to the Middle East and help rebuild Gaza and the relationship between Palestine and Israel,” he added.

For the full Limmud-Oz program, visit


Ultramarathon runner Pat Farmer.

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