Jerusalem Half Marathon or Should I Say 21.1K

So clearly from the post title, I was in Jerusalem. We got back Saturday and the race was Friday morning, but lets back up a bit… Todd left for work in Ber’Sheva, Israel January 15th. After his work was done, I met him in Tel Aviv for a little vacation. Since this is Heather RUNS Fast, I’ll start my Israel recap with running… OBV.

I got in two great runs on Tel Aviv beach. Both times I had cool temps in the beginning and most of the running path was shaded, but it got warm quick. They are 6 hours ahead of us and the sun rises around 5:45AM. So even sleeping in until only 7AM means you’re running in full sun. Good thing I received this Nuun swag package before I left to stock up on my hydration!

Nuun Swag

My first run was beautiful. The path I ran along beach path and soaked in the city. On my second run though, it was SUPER windy! So much sand was blowing around.

IMG_20150309_022431751_HDR IMG_20150311_032313280Like I said before, the race was Friday morning. Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday, so that’s why the race was on Friday and not Saturday or Sunday like it is here. After a night of NO SLEEP we got up at 4:15 to leave our apartment in Tel Aviv to drive to Jerusalem (about an hour away). I ate some oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in and bit on top on the drive and then two dates right before.

IMG_20150312_225330289 IMG_20150312_234647850

The race started at 6:45 and if you remember, the sun is fully up then. Luckily, the temps were cool. The course, however, was NOT cool. It was SO HILLY. Miles of up and down and up and down. There were points of going up hill that I just told myself not to walk. I had a slow trudge, but I knew I could make it up on the down hills. I opened my stride and let it fly.



My “goal” was to run a 9/9:30 pace. I knew it was going to be hilly and I hadn’t trained for hills at.all. Nor had I run 13 consecutive miles in over a year. Needless to say, I was completely happy with my 1:53:46 time- a 8:35 pace. Woo Hoo! Now I’ve run two races internationally: Jerusalem and Taipei, Taiwan. We Americans are used to 5K and 1oK’s, but not 21.1K and 42.2K. It was cool seeing the stickers on back of all the cars using kilometers instead of miles.


Another difference, was that they were handing out dates on the course for food and they call their electrolyte drink, isotonic drink, haha. And the water wasn’t in cups, they handed out small water bottles. It was easier to drink that way, but such a waste of water. Oh! I forgot to mention that my dad left me a note wishing me good luck before I left 🙂

Dads NoteThe only thing they had after the race was oranges and apples, so it’s a good thing I packed a PB&J (on Challah bread) to eat on the drive home! I scarfed that bad boy down so fast, it’s a amazing I remembered to take a pic!

Challah PB&JMy legs were pretty tight after so I had to improvise for a foam roller… a huge water bottle did the trick…

Water Bottle Foam Roller

We flew back that night at midnight, which made for a looooong day, especially with no sleep the night before. Not only did my parents watch the Ry girl while we were gone, my mom made us dinner when we got back…


And yes, that’s a welcome home cake. Now that’s love.

PS Starting today, through 3/26/15 you can use the coupon code LuckyNuunFriends to use on for 20% off most items!




This article has 21 comments

  1. What a fun trip – sorry about the no sleep … but looks like you conquered the race AND those hills after all!
    I love the good luck note from your dad and the welcome back cake from your parents – so cute!
    I haven’t run any international races now that I think about it – maybe that should be a goal for me this or next year. Do you find the time difference or anything else difficult?

    • An international race is a very fun goal! The time difference didn’t affect me because I had already been there a week. Nothing was really difficult. Most people there spoke a bit of English. The only thing was when the wheel chair runners came by… they would yell to move in Hebrew, so I wouldn’t know they were coming or to get out of the way 🙁 It only happened twice though.

  2. What an AMAZING experience and awesome pace for not having trained! You truly are a inspiration Heather!

  3. Yummers!!! Holy chocolate cake!!! 😛 Soooo how did you slip the Jerusalem trip and the half mary over there past me haha! Any who nice job chica, you did absolutely amazing. That’s a great time for not being 13.1 tested in a year.

    • I was pretty happy… struggling, but happy to be running 🙂
      My dad begged my mom to make a Welcome home cake (he’s just slightly obsessed with cake- wonder where I get it) and I’m glad she did!

  4. Ummm…this is the COOLEST THING EVER! I saw your photo on IG and I was somewhat confused, and unsure of whether you were really in Jerusalem!! INSANE! Way to kill the half, and the cake.

    • Ya, sorry for the confusion. I just don’t like the internet to know when I’m outta the country. It’s always so hard to NOT post cool pics of stuff we did. Mmmm cake.

  5. What a cool trip! And awesome that you have run internationally. Surprising they only had fruit at the end of the race!! I’ve heard a lot of international races do water bottles instead of cups. Paris does that from what I hear!

    • I was bummed there wasn’t a bagel or Challah bread or any kind of carb at the end. Paris will be an even awesomer race! The bottles were def easier to drink out of, but like I said, such a waste 🙁

  6. Ohhh Heather, you cutie!! You seriously need to be a model!! You are GORGEOUS!! You are a natural beauty, that’s for sure! 🙂 If I owned a model agency you’d be on my A-list!! You look SO happy running. Seriously, when I was reading your post, my husband asked me what I was grinning so big about. Haha! That just shows how happy your posts make me! Great job on your half marathon! I can’t imagine running hard hills like that! You’re amazing! Such a talented runner!! WOW! Have a fabulous week! Oh by the way, that note from your dad…omg, so sooo sweet!! XOXO

    • Stop making me blush, Kristin! Todd often catches me grinning ear to ear reading posts and asks the same thing. It’s crazy how invested we get in blog friends lives 🙂 The hills were a killer, but worth every climb. Hope you have a great week to my darling!

  7. Fantastic time (and pace) for such a hot and hilly run!! Great job!! And what a cool experience – I’ve never raced overseas but I loved how you documented some of the differences. I never would have thought about that! Congrats again and welcome back! P.S. – That chocolate cake looks DELICIOUS.

    • Thanks, thanks and thanks! The whole thing was pretty neat 🙂 and yes, I that cake is beyond delicious. I’m luck to have a great baker of a mom.

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