If you’ve been reading this blog for any amount of time, then you know I love a race. Especially a racecation (travelling abroad for a race), so when I was invited to Israel by Vibe Israel to run the Tel Aviv Night 10K, I jumped at the chance.
Vibe Israel are a non-profit organisation aimed at sharing Israel’s creative energy with influencers across the world, showcasing the best of Israel through a side we often don’t get to see. I was invited on a Fitness Tour, to explore Israel/Tel Aviv’s buzzing running and fitness scene. I’ll be sharing a couple more posts from our incredible trip, but for now I’m just too excited after yesterday’s race to have to wait to post about it.
I am a morning runner through and through, so as the 7pm departure time approached for the race, I was feeling a little lethargic. Tina, Rebecca and I had spent the afternoon chilling out on a rooftop pool and enjoying massages; great for relaxing, not so great for hyping us up for the race.
Luckily, as soon as we stepped off the bus in the race village, the party atmosphere got to me and we started chatting excitedly, taking selfies and dancing around. We were grateful for the VIP wristbands that allowed us to use the nice loos with no queue, and meet up with the rest of our group for the evening.
I knew I wasn’t going for a time so wanted to run with the girls and help Rebecca finish her first 10K race. The boys, Danny and Jorge, weren’t so sure about the whole idea of running – they’re more weight lifters – so we didn’t think we’d be sticking together as a group. However, we lost Jorge immediately, and so Danny stuck with us for his first race ever!
Our group photographer led us right to the front of our wave to try to get some photos of us starting, however once the klaxon sounded, it was terrifying to be that close to the start as people whizzed by us, knocking into us. I now know why I never start right at the front!
Tina and I paced our group, hoping to finish in under 60 minutes, but not knowing quite what the course was going to be like. With 25000 runners, it was certainly crowded at times, but we managed to stick together with ease. We encouraged Rebecca and Danny with mile countdowns and reminders that we were 1/4 way, 1/3, 1/2 way done etc and tried to give tips on running up hill and downhill more efficiently. I loved it so much – it made me think that I’d love to do some coaching etc in the future.
The course was mostly flat (my Strava indicates a 109 ft max elevation gain – follow me at Charlie Runner Beans) and along well kept, wide roads, making it the ideal running route. There were a couple of sharp turns along the out and backs, but mostly it was easy to keep a consistent pace. I loved the music pumping from various locations along the route, plenty of crowd support and generally a fun vibe. I think this could actually be a great PB course if you wanted to add a challenge to a trip to Israel, otherwise a great one to run for fun.
With a mile to go, we picked pace a little, knowing we had a buffer to get in under 60 mins. We all hammered it down the final straight, sprinting over the line, and finishing in 57:45. I am SO proud of Rebecca and Danny for finishing their first 10K so strong.
We all loved the glittery medals we received on finishing, although there were no post-race goody bags. We hit the VIP tent snacks hard instead, and enjoyed the free beer too.
A few logistical things to note – unlike the US/UK races, most people were wearing the blue race t-shirt although you didn’t have to. As a girl, you don’t need to cover up (a question I had before arriving here – there were plenty of people running in shorts/sports bras etc). I felt safe the entire time while running (and on our trip to Israel in general!). Tel Aviv is a really runner friendly city, I had a great time running along the waterfront in the mornings on our trip.
It was Danny’s first time ever running that far – he’s lost 150lbs and changed his life completely – his weightless journey is so inspiring and he’s just a really genuine guy. Rebecca nailed the sprint finish although I wouldn’t expect anything less from this super fit, determined and driven girl. She makes awesome workout videos that don’t require any equipment and can be done in your house in 15-2o minutes. I’ve read Tina’s blog Carrots N Cake for years so loved hanging out with her and getting to know her in real life. It’s cliched but I really do think I’ll stay friends with these guys and hope to meet up with them on future trips to the US/Canada!
Would love you to check out my race vlog…