On October 5, I ran my first race in Israel, the Givatayim 10K! To say I was excited to run this race is a gross understatement. I was looking for a way to kickstart my new life in Israel, something that would make me feel like…well, me! I’m pleased to say that the Givatayim 10K lived up to my expectations.
Givatayim 10K overview:
Givatayim is a suburb of Tel Aviv. It uses the same public transportation, and if you didn’t know better, you might not even notice that you’ve left Tel Aviv. Lots of young couples move to Givatayim when they want to live together sans roommates, since the rent is a bit more affordable. That’s all there really is to say about Givatayim.
Price: 90 shekel/$25. One of the cheaper races that I’ve seen. Value for money: A
Website: The website was all in Hebrew, but easy enough to follow. B
Publicity: I found the race on one of the popular Israeli running sites. It was easy to find, if I knew what I was looking for. Publicity: B+
Transportation: Bus! The website listed the road closures, so I found a bus that got me as close as possible, and I did a warm-up jog the rest of the way (no more than 1.5 miles…so totally reasonable) A
Weather: Warm and sunny, but not unbearable. B+
Time: 7:20am…oddly specific, but the early start time was to avoid hot weather, and it was much appreciated.
Start/finish area: Easy enough to find, a few port o potties, and no lines. B+
Packet pick-up: Offered prior to the race! Packet pick-up was held at the Givatayim mall, which also happened to be near the start area of the race. I went two days prior to the race, picked up my shirt and race bib, and was a happy camper. A+
Race shirt: To date, this is the best race shirt I’ve gotten at any race in Israel. I like the color, the material is nice, and the cut is flattering. I’m a big fan!
What I wore: Whippets singlet, compression shorts, sunglasses.
Bag drop: Didn’t plan to use it, so I didn’t check for one
Course: The course runs throughout Givatayim, which is a suburby city. There were a few tiny hills, but the course was mostly flat. I have to be honest, the course wasn’t that exciting, and there was almost nobody on the streets. If you’re the kind of person who needs crowd support, this is not the race for you. B-
Water stations: There were a few water stations, staffed by teenagers. They gave out plastic water bottles…which is wasteful, since people drink only a few sips! I think I poured some of the water over my head, so at least it was marginally less wasteful.
Bathrooms: NONE ON THE COURSE. F–
Pictures: Free! A
Medal: Not gonna lie, this is one of the reasons I registered for the race. The medal is nothing fancy, but it’s my first medal in Israel!
In conclusion: The Givatayim 10K is a nice enough race, and to be perfectly honest, I will probably run it again just for the shirt. Also, it’s a nice way to kick off the Israeli racing season!