This and That

Random bits of my life

Posts Tagged ‘race’

Mountain-to-Valley (Har Le-Emek) 2016

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 31, 2016

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Har Le-Emek is a 215-kilometer relay race that I ran on May 18-19 with the Cisco Cloud Runners, an 8-man team (yes, that’s correct; you have to have 2 women and 6 men to be considered a “mixed” team). I ran 25 kilometers total in three segments. The route began in Tel Hai and ended in Timrat. We ran around the clock, for nearly 24 hours. In the photo above, I’m smiling because I’m nearly at the end of my final segment! I tend to feel a bit fed up at the end of a relay race because it’s tough to run all day and night with almost no sleep and hardly any food. I’ve got my GPS watch (Garmin Forerunner 220) on my left wrist and the magnetic chip on my right. I was finishing close to Gevat.

Here’s the finish line at Timrat:

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My first segment, from Netura, was bloody hot! I started around 12:30 p.m., there was no shade, and the sun was bouncing off the dusty roads (below). I had a water backpack but I still suffered from the heat and had to walk a little bit.

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The scenery is beautiful up north. That’s the main reason I do these runs, to see parts of the country I’ve never seen before, running through fields and forests.

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Here are my two team-mates who work in the Netanya office–Golan on the left in the red and Eyal on the right. Although we’ve been on the same team for a year, this was the first time I met them. We were in a car of four for the run. They were great company! I always tell people that we’ve never met before because by the time I cross the finish line, they’re already home and sitting down to lunch. 🙂  Golan is a strong and fast runner. Eyal is good with long distances (he runs ~50 km a week).

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Here’s a video of last year’s race. I ran last year but I’m not in the video (hey, there were some 8,000 runners!) It gives you an idea of the scenery and terrain.

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Running with Cranes

Posted by Avital Pinnick on November 30, 2015

Agur Race, 2015

This isn’t the best photo of me but it’s probably the most recent and it’s my fastest 10K race. I’m the one in blue, on the left. Last Friday I ran the Agur (“crane”, as in the bird) Race at the Hula Valley nature reserve up north. The race coincides with the annual crane migration, and we saw lots of cranes flying overhead.

We drove up the night before and stayed at the Tel Dan Youth Hostel (I highly recommend it–clean, quiet, free wifi, kettle and fridge in the room, for 262 NIS/night). Unfortunately, I hardly slept that night. I have a terrible time falling asleep whenever I have an event the next day, but I’ve learned that I can run while half asleep.

My final time for the 10K was 01:01:11 (lots of ones), which is my fastest time yet. In my category, I The course is nice and flat, which makes it popular for people trying to run a personal best.

Here’s a video of last year’s Agur race. You can see me for a split second wearing a black skirt, bright orange shirt,  a little to the left of center, at 1:25 (if you really want to see me, you’ll have to slow the video down to .25 speed and pause it). It was really foggy that day, so the photography isn’t great.

Here’s a video of the Agur race in 2013. The photography is a lot better–lots of cranes!

I haven’t done photography for ages, partly because I was taking a break and now because I had laser surgery on Nov. 9 to correct my vision. Since the operation was PRK, not LASIK, recovery takes a lot longer, with more ups and downs. I can see well enough to run and I can manage to read but my distance vision is still quite blurry. It’s strange to think that now I’ll need glasses to do all the needlework I used to do. I can read if a font is not too small but I will probably need reading glasses at some point. At least I’m not in any discomfort, although I did have a miserable few days before the bandage contact lenses were taken out. The surgeon discovered an eyelash in my right eye. No wonder my eye was constantly tearing and so sensitive to light! As soon as the lenses and eyelash were out, I felt much better. But it will be a while before I can see well enough to take photos.

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I’m still around…

Posted by Avital Pinnick on May 26, 2014

Selfie at Binyamin 10k race

My blog has been on hold because life got a bit busy. I ran in the Binyamin 10K race last month, during a heat wave, at Maale Michmash–no shade, lots of hills. I didn’t run as well as I’d hoped because I didn’t drink enough, but I got a 2nd place trophy. I actually placed third out of four in my category, but the first place winner was one of the overall women’s winners, so the rest of us got bumped up by one position; it’s too bad that the 4th place runner didn’t hang around. She would have gotten a 3rd place trophy by default! I took this selfie with my iPod.

Lady with Unicorn: Sense of Hearing

I finished the first row of the endless “Lady and Unicorn: Sense of Hearing” cross-stitch piece. Only a few thousand more stitches to go! 🙂

A couple days ago we returned from our annual vacation, which we spent in Wales and London. Photos to follow. Before too long, I promise…..

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Jerusalem Marathon 2014

Posted by Avital Pinnick on March 24, 2014

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I ran my first half marathon (21 km) in the Jerusalem Marathon 2014 last Friday. The photo above was taken on Jaffa Street, around 7:15 a.m. I looked a lot fresher at km 3 than I did at the end!

The photo below was taken on Hevron Road, near the Begin Center. I wasn’t sure I’d be able to finish because I didn’t sleep the night before (really!) and had a bad night’s sleep the night before that. I’ve always had a hard time sleeping if something exciting is happening the next day. But once the adrenalin kicked in I was fine.

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My race time was 02:27:35, which is respectable for a first-timer on this route. The Jerusalem Marathon is widely regarded as one of the most difficult marathons in the world, because of the relentless hills. (Blogger Karla Bruning describes it as a road race with a trail profile.) My rank was 46/69 in age/gender category, 580/888 in gender category, and 3325/3948 overall.

I can’t begin to describe the experience. Normally, pedestrians have to dodge cars, buses, and trams in the city center. During the marathon, you own the streets. 🙂  There’s no one around at that hour except guards and waiters sitting in front of closed cafes and a few volunteers handing out water bottles. Jerusalem has a totally different character. The streets are quiet and empty, the air is fresh, and the sun casts long shadows behind you. Someone asked whether everything goes behind in a blur. I said that actually it seems to go by more slowly because you’re not in a bus and because you can see much more when the sidewalks aren’t covered with pedestrians and sales racks. We poured out of the Rabin Road tunnel and I ran with the human tidal wave up Bezalel Street with Joni Mitchell bouncing through “Chelsea Morning” on my iPod.

These photos were taken with the iPod, so they’re a little wonky and haven’t been edited. I considered taking a camera and then decided against it, in view of my fatigue and the length of the run. This is what the organization point in Gan Sacher looks like at 6:15 a.m. The sun isn’t up yet. Only the half and full marathon runners are around. The marathon was very well organized and the bathrooms were actually bearable and stocked with toilet paper (I hear it was quite different by the time the 10K racers showed up).

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People really do run in costumes! I’m not sure how far one can run dressed as a heart, but I did see a big guy in a granny dress and red puffy hat, a lot of Supermen, and a couple guys with paper bags on their heads.

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We headed to the starting line just as the sun was coming up.

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The half marathon began 15 minutes before the full marathon (7 a.m.). A group of African marathon runners blinded us with their dazzling gold Mylar capes. It was pretty cool to watch. I don’t know whether they ran with them or threw them off at the start of the race.

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At 7 a.m., there were far more runners than spectators and we passed a few drum ensembles playing on street corners. Later in the day, more people came out to watch. It was fun seeing runners being cheered by family members and neighbours while they ran through their neighbourhoods. At the corner of Yehuda and Emek Refaim, they were playing music through speakers and lots of people were cheering. It’s not Boston or New York, where you have thousands of spectators, but it makes you feel like a rock star!

Here’s a panorama I took with my iPod after I crossed the finish line. About 50 of us were on one side of the barrier, stretching, resting on the grass, and drinking water. On the other side were over 10,000 runners waiting to begin the 10 km run. I was quite content to stretch under a tree for a while (no phone!) and relax, before grabbing a medal and heading out to find my family.

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This video focuses mainly on the half marathon. The guy in the granny dress appears around 0:50. I appear very briefly at 1:10, behind the guy with the paper bag on his head. You have to look really hard because I’m in the shadows on the side opposite the camera. If you watch to the end, you get an idea of the carnival atmosphere.

Addendum: A couple people asked how long I trained. It took me about four months, with two short runs and one long run a week. I have been running (not very seriously) for about 12 years. Because I was able to run 7 km easily when I started, I chose the half marathon because the 10K did not seem sufficiently challenging.

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Hevron 10K Race

Posted by Avital Pinnick on February 16, 2014

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How to get a trophy on your first race…. First, sign up for a race with hardly any participants. 🙂 The Hevron 10K is a tough run and had only about 60 competitors. I think every woman in the race won a trophy. There were only 4 or 5 and we were spread out over different age groups. There was another woman registered in my group, but she didn’t run, so I was the only winner in my category. Looks like a woman on top of a Dalek.

Here I am at the starting point, with the Tomb of the patriarchs in the background.

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And we’re off…. Of course I’m at the back of the pack. I’m not a very fast runner and it didn’t help that I took a wrong turn in Kiryat Arba–there was n0 sign after the unattended water stand at the 8th kilometer (that was also really annoying; when you’re running, you shouldn’t have to stop, fish a cup out of a plastic bag, and fill it yourself). I wasn’t in any danger. But I tried to guess which way to go and guessed wrong. When I turned around, I saw that the two women who were behind me had gone straight, instead of turning, so I followed them, losing about half a kilometer.

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Beautiful scenery! Lots of terraces and vineyards. The hills of the first two kilometers were really difficult, from the Machpela up to the industrial area of Kiryat Arba. I don’t think we have such steep hills in Maale Adumim, unless you try to run straight up the hill from a wadi.

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I have another 10 km race this Friday, the “Kalaniot” (Anemones). About twice as many people are registered, so I’ll have some real competition! At least it will be a lot flatter.

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