First Anemones Race, Shokeda
Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 24, 2014
Last Friday, Feb. 21, 2014, I ran the 10K Anemones Race (Merotz haKalaniot) in Shokeda, near the Gaza strip. This is the first year that this particular race was held. The anemones, which look like poppies but are actually related to buttercups, were in full bloom. I don’t normally get to see the winter flowers because I live in Maale Adumim, so this was a wonderful opportunity to compete in a new race and see a new (for me) part of the country. I had to get up at 5 a.m., got picked up at 6, and we drove 1.5 hours to Shokeda.
Everyone is milling around getting numbers and picking up t-shirts. I didn’t win a trophy this time because I placed 4th (out of 6) in my category, but I did set a new personal record–66 minutes–and placed 176/198. The fact that it was so flat and I didn’t get lost (as I did in Kiryat Arba the previous week) undoubtedly contributed to the better time. The three women who placed ahead of me were very good runners, all under an hour.
And they’re off…. Nearly 200 runners participated.
The race course was entirely on dirt roads around fields. I had no idea it was so flat, even though I’d checked the elevation ahead of time. There were some slopes but not around this field.
At the 5 km mark. The long straight road seemed to stretch on forever. I kept staring in the same direction, watching an electrical tower gradually get larger and larger.
This must have been where the long road turned 90 degrees because I can see some of the runners ahead of me on the left side of the photo.
Just before the race they told us that we would have about 200 meters of mud. I couldn’t figure out how there would be mud, since it hadn’t rained for nearly a week. Then I saw the sprinklers…. Fortunately, the camera slipped into my waist pouch with enough room on the strap for me to keep running without having to unfasten the leash.
Neither Yisrael nor I placed high enough to get a trophy, so we wandered over to the fields to photograph flowers before heading home.
I desaturated the green and blue to get this photo. Looks a bit like they’re growing after a forest fire. 🙂
About half an hour after the 10K run ended, the 20K off-road bike race began.