Since many of my fans (my parents and boyfriend) have been eagerly awaiting my race recap (even though I ran the event yesterday), I’m happy to present my race recap for the Jerusalem Marathon, where I ran the 10K!
…so if you ran the 10k, why are you writing about the jerusalem marathon?
Good question! Apparently, the race is branded as the Jerusalem Marathon, and it includes a marathon, half marathon, 10K, 5K, and family races. Moving on!
Jerusalem needs no introduction. It’s one of the most famous cities in the world, and not always for good reasons. I lived in Jerusalem during the summer of 2009 and the winter/spring of 2012. I have many fond memories of Jerusalem, but I’m very happy to now live in Tel Aviv. I was very curious to run the Jerusalem 10K and see how the experience compared to the Tel Aviv Half Marathon. Which did I prefer? The short/”American” answer is that I really enjoyed both events, but for different reasons…
I only ran twice during race week, on Sunday and Monday. My right IT band was bothering me a bit, so since I didn’t need to run, I decided not to. I had no issues during or after the race, so it seems like this was the right decision!
Price: 180 shekel/$50. This is expensive, but I registered about a month before the event. Had I registered during early registration, it would have cost me 130 shekel, or about $36. 180 shekel is a lot of pay to run a 10K, but the fact is that many larger 10K races in the US can cost a similar amount. If I hadn’t procrastinated so much, I could have saved a bit of money. Value for money: B
Website: There is an English website, and it’s great, by Israeli standards. By that, I mean that it technically works, but is a bit clunky. Website: A, because my standards have lowered since making Aliyah
Transportation to race: My boyfriend wanted to come with me, so we booked an Airbnb and drove to Jerusalem the evening before the race. The Airbnb was right next to the finish area (which also wasn’t so far from the start area). It was so convenient! The Airbnb itself was TINY, but it was big enough for two people. Transportation: A
Weather: 50s, sometimes cloudy, sometimes sunny. It was great weather, though I did get a bit sunburned.
Start time: 9:45am. HELL YEAH! I set my alarm for 8am, and left the Airbnb at 9:10am. I had plenty of time to wake up, drink coffee, eat, and make my way over to the start area. This is a major benefit to running a 10K in one of the bigger races. Usually, the half marathon starts very early, followed by the marathon shortly after. The 10K then starts a bit later. I LOVED being able to wake up at a normal time and not feel like a zombie for the rest of the day.
Start/finish area: The start/finish area was in Gan Sacher (Sacher Park, which is pronounced like soccer). It’s the Central Park of Jerusalem. It’s a nice park, but due to thousands of people walking around, it was basically a giant mud field. Still, it was a festive area, with many booths and things. The energy levels were high, and even though I’ve run about a million 10Ks now and it’s honestly not a big deal (unless I’m trying for a PR), I was getting pumped for the race. Start/finish area: B+, because of the mud…I had to wash my shoes after the race, because they were gross.
the calm before the mud
Packet pick-up: Held at Binyanei Ha’uma (International Convention Center), in Jerusalem. We were a bit late getting there, so we drove straight here, parked, and ran in to get my bib. This was actually a big race expo, with lots of vendors and stuff going on. I didn’t have the patience for this, so we left immediately. The race packet included my bib, shirt, a Nature Valley bar (yum!), and random coupons.Packet pick-up: B+
Race shirt: Since this is a major running event in Israel, I had high expectations for the shirt. In general, I was pleased! I still need to run in the shirt, but it fits well, and is a nice color (navy blue, which you can’t really see in the pictures). Shirt: A
What I wore: adidas Runners shirt, compression shorts, sunglasses. It was perfect!
ready for the race!
Yalla, let’s go!
Bag drop: I saw it, but I didn’t need it. Bag drop: A
Course: Oh man, this course. If you’ve never been to Jerusalem, you have to know–it’s a very hilly city. Not Haifa-level hilly, but still, it’s a lot. I felt a bit silly running the 10K when there was a half marathon option…but I did not want to suffer through 21km of hills. Since I had such low expectations and didn’t want to suffer, I decided to run at a relatively easy pace…and I loved this race! I didn’t take pictures, but the course was absolutely beautiful. There’s a brief section where we ran through the Old City, and although it got a bit narrow there, it really added something special to the experience.
The one thing I did NOT love about the race: the charity walkers. Many people from Israel and abroad ran the race in partnership with a charity. This means they raised money for the charity, and ran the race in honor of the organization. This is a wonderful thing…but not when there are groups of people walking 5 people abreast, in the middle of the street, while I’m trying to actually run. If this happened during the uphill parts, or mostly at the end, I would understand. Running is hard! But this was starting at the very beginning of the race, and included the downhill parts. There were people texting/completely engrossed in their phones, in the middle of the road. Basically, I got the sense that this is a big event for some people…who are not used to races or events like this, and have no idea how to behave. So I’ll make it very easy:
How to not be a jerk at races:
2 people abreast is perfect, 3 is acceptable. More than that…no
DON’T TEXT IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
If you’re going to walk, do it along the side of the route
Don’t run zigzags along the course, you’re going to bump into someone
It was hard to dodge everyone, and I did (accidentally) bump into some people. I usually didn’t feel bad about it, because they were walking in the middle of the course, and had more than enough space for someone to pass…
In the future, I would try to start in the 9:30am wave of the 10K, as close to the start line as possible. That way, most of the walkers would start behind me, and I wouldn’t have this issue.
Course: A for beauty, F for people with poor manners.
Water stations: There were 3, which seemed adequate. I didn’t stop at any, because I didn’t feel like I needed to drink.
Bathrooms: There were port o potties in the start/finish area, but I didn’t see any on the course. Bathrooms: F
Medal: Very cute! I like that it has the Jerusalem skyline, it makes it feel unique to the event. Medal: A
I expected to suffer through the 10K, but I actually loved the race! I will definitely return next year, either to run the 10K or the half marathon, if I’m in better shape. I hope to see you there!