I added the Ramat Gan Safari Run to my race calendar because it was easy enough to get to, and the 10K runs THROUGH THE ZOO. Sold! Forgive the lack of pictures…
Ramat Gan Safari Run, overview:
The Ramat Gan Safari Run takes place in the city of Ramat Gan, which is technically a suburb of Tel Aviv, but could be compared to an outer borough of NYC, in that there’s stuff going on, public transportation goes from Ramat Gan to Tel Aviv, and the rent is a bit cheaper. The run was supposed to take place earlier in the month, but due to rain, it was postponed. Fine by me, who wants to run in gross weather if they don’t have to?
Cost: 110 shekel/$30. Not bad Value for money: B+/A-…because zoo animals are included
Website: Decent. All in Hebrew, but easy enough to navigate. B
Publicity: Also decent, because the race was sponsored by one of the larger sports companies. Also, news about the change of date was readily available. Publicity: A-
How I got to the race: Bus! It was easy enough to figure out. B Added bonus–my boyfriend wanted to come cheer me on at the finish line, but timing didn’t work out…but he was there to pick me up after the race!
Weather: Clear sky, just the tiniest bit chilly…perfect running weather! A
Time: 9:20am. PERFECT! I love not having to wake up at the crack of dawn so that I’m not dripping in sweat before the race even starts. A++++
Start/finish area: Decent. Signage was clear, there were port o potties…all good, but also nothing special. B
Packet pick-up: At the race. Which was fine with me. The packed pick-up included the shirt and race number. A
Race shirt: Unisex. Booooo. Nothing special. I’ll probably save it, if only to wear for painting/something that I don’t mind getting dirty. But I seriously doubt I’ll ever run in the shirt. C
What I wore: Shorts, shirt, baggy race shirt on top because I didn’t have a bag for bag check.
Bag drop: Available, and I wish I’d used it…I mean, it was there and free!
Course: The course was just okay. It was through the main park in Ramat Gan, nice enough, relatively flat. A few KMs at the end of the race were in the zoo, which was honestly underwhelming. Still, depending on the weather, the course could have PR potential. I ran the 10K in 56:59, which wasn’t bad, given my fitness level.
Water stations: There were enough, and they handed out plastic water bottles.
Bathrooms: None…I’m sure there were public restrooms in the park, but I couldn’t tell you where they were…
Pictures: Honestly don’t remember, I didn’t check, but I assume there are some.
Medal: None, unless you were an age group winner. This is the only Israeli race I’ve run so far that doesn’t offer medals, so I was honestly surprised. So if you’re running for the bling, skip this race.
In conclusion: If I seem “meh” about this race…it’s because I am. I’m glad the organizers rescheduled the race, because it was perfect running weather, and like I said, I think it’s a relatively flat course that could lend itself well to a PR. I also appreciate that the race is accessible by public transportation and starts at a reasonable hour. I didn’t care that there was no medal, but I really wanted a non-unisex shirt. I would consider running the race again, especially if I was in better shape/wanted to try for a PR/better time for me. However, if there is another race the same day/weekend, I might skip the Ramat Gan Safari Run, to try something new.
NOTE TO RACE ORGANIZERS: For a small race like this (there were 476 people running the 10K and 5K combined), I think it’s fine to have shirts without the year, in a variety of colors. This way, you can reuse them the next year…and if someone has one color, then can just request a different color. This means you can order in bulk, AND ORDER WOMEN’S SIZES.