Running in Israel
Taking a running tour of Israel may be one of the coolest things you ever do. It’s hard to fathom a time when the streets of the walled city of Jerusalem are free of crowds but I witnessed it and even saw a loan runner running through the streets. In Israel you have history at every turn. Combine a running event into to your travel and you’ll mark running in Israel as a favorite.
Quote worth pondering: “Faith is the ability to hear the music through the noise – Rabbi Cask
Getting to Israel
Travel to Tel Aviv is really quite easy. There are daily flights from the major hubs around the world. Tel Aviv is the business center for the country so travel is really quite easy. As always shop the rates.
Getting around Israel is fairly easy too. Driving around the country is very possible. Just be ware that drivers in Israel are aggressive. That’s not a big deal as long as you are patient. There is a good train system right out of Tel Aviv. Trains go to all the cities in the country. We road on the bus and taxis service. The bus from Eilat to Jerusalem was quite comfortable and the ride went by fast. Busses, trains and even metro trains stop working at 2pm on Friday and don’t resume service until 2 pm on Saturday.
Visa and security. Security is tight at all the border entries. Lots of questions coming and going. It’s what you’d expect. There is no entry visa requirement but there is an exit visa. If you cross the border by land you’ll have to pay the exit visa. Your airline or at least my airline included the exit visa in the price of the ticket. We entered in Israel at the Eilat border from Jordan. The day we got there the border was not busy at all.
Running In Israel
It’s a simple beach community. You should swim and snorkel in the Red Sea. There is a coastal highway that has a bike lane and a walking lane for quite a long distance. It would be a rather flat out and back but with the Red Sea as your back drop it would be a nice run. Expect a great deal of sun and some hot weather to deal with. Even in January the mornings were warm enough that you’d work up a sweat.
There are two good races in Eilat.
The Israman Triathlon is one of the oldest triathlons in the world. It reportedly is quite hard too. It happens in January so if you are reading this at the time of posting you are either already there or you’ll miss it.
There is the Eilat Desert Marathon in November which looks fun.
Good running at the Dead Sea. You can run along the water front. Not far from there are a few of the historical sites you will probably want to see. Go in March and run the Ein Gedi Experience (30K, 1/2 Marathon and a great deal more)
A hugely impacted city. That’s to be understood since it’s the relative center of 3 big religions. Like in Amman, Jordan the time to run is Friday morning.
The historical part of Jerusalem is in the walled city. On most days it’s wall to wall people. It’s very slow walking and there would be no chance to run. It’s not a tourist area alone. People still live in the city and there are a couple of hostels and hotels in the city too. On Friday morning though most of the shops are closed, stay closed and the big events don’t happen until about noon. The only people who can go to Temple Mount on Friday are the Muslims and Friday noon is the big time of worship. You could easily run through the entire city on a Friday morning. It would be fun because getting lost is part of the adventure of seeing a city for the first time.
The Jerusalem Marathon looks like a total blast. From the video on the home page it looks like part of the route takes you into the walled city.
It’s really simple in Tel Aviv, run on the coast. There is a great boardwalk. You can run quite a long way. For the outdoor adventurers there are good surf spots all along the water front. You can rent boards and wetsuits at a number of different places. At the north end there is a 50M competition pool right next to the beach in case you need to swim.
Run the Samsung Tel Aviv Marathon
I chose to run in Tel Aviv for my 34th country:
We didn’t have time to see all of Israel. The Sea of Galilee is an obvious destination for many. There are a few other historical spots as well.
Two interesting events:
For you Ultra folks Israel has you covered. How does 200K sound?
Grab Your Running Shoes and See the World
There is simply no reason not to combine running and Israel into one adventure. There is so much history that we all know about and there is a great deal of running both organized and adventuresome that maybe you didn’t know about. With a bit more time I would have joined one of those events.