Saturday, December 11, 2010

New PR - Bet Shean 1/2 Marathon

On Friday we made the long trip up north to Bet Shean to run the Bet Shean 1/2 Marathon.  We left very early, 6:30 am and arrived 2 hours later to a beautiful, clear, sunny and quite hot day.  The marathon starts from Gan HaShalosha, which is a water park with three beautiful mayonot (springs), and continues through the area under some beautiful low mountains and commercial fish ponds!  The course was pretty flat, until about 14.5 km where there is a steady climb through the local small town.  Interesting note on the course is that the highway was permanently marked with the distance, which makes me think that this is probably a route run often by local runners and/or bikers.  There was over 2,500 participants, and is the premiere 1/2 marathon in Israel. 

One of the three beautiful natural springs in the park

My blister had me very worried, but by race time, the adrenilin in me had me all but forgetting about it.  I planned to run a 6:00 pace and hoped to take a good amount of time off my last HM, considering this was a flat course and I had that much more training under my belt. 

The starter pistol was probably real!

I'm in this crowd somewhere.  I felt absolutely dwarfed by all this big guys!

Blue & White!

I went out a little fast, but don't feel like I over did it at all.  Much of the first 14 km I ran anywhere from 5:32 to 5:55.  I felt like I hit a stride that I was very comfortable with.  However, there was not much shade and the heat of the day started to set in.  I think 9:30 is a bit late to start and by the half way mark, I was feeling the effects of the heat.  At 14.5 km the climb through the local town started, and even though I had a good time through the climb (5:40, 5:55, 5:58) it seemed to sap the life out of me.  By 18 km I was already having to convince myself that I was not going to walk - just keep it going and stay focused.  By this time my last 3 km were (6:04, 6:13, 6:12) but no way was I slowing down.

My official time was 2:04:54 but the clock was only reading the last digits...

But - woohoo!  I set a new PR!  2:04:54 with an average pace of 5:53.  Faster than the 6:00 pace I thought I'd run.  Everyone that finished with me seemed drained by the heat - and when I came through the gate I was so exhausted.  (I think I drank a litre of water within the first 15 minutes!)  I was so looking forward to my frozen Gatorade, but darn it if it wasn't still frozen solid! 

All in all, a great time and a thrill to run amoungst so many!

This coming week I have my last long run (32 km) and then the week after starts my taper.  I am getting so excited about the upcoming Marathon - I think my cup runnith over with adrenilin already!

Have a good one,


  1. Super! Nailed it!

    What was the temp that day? 2:05 in heat means that you could probably get under 2 hrs if it was cool.

    My favorite does-it-all calculator here:

    sez that if you were running at 32C, then you could run just under 2 hours if you were at a cool temp (< 16C)!

    Do you have a pace in mind for your marathon..what temps do you expect?

  2. @Paul - the average temp for Tiberius in January is 45 - 68F however, last year was a major heat wave and the temps were like summer. Several people in my running group ended up in hospital because of dehydration!

    I think I will try a pace of 6:15 and see where that gets me. I'm worried about going out too fast. My average pace for my long runs has been 6:17 so I think this might work. It's all very new to me so I hope I've run enough to pull it off!

  3. Hi RB,
    Your pace (matching your long run pace) is right about what I did on my's the easy pace for me too and it worked really well to just do that on race day.

    Of course I did not have the threat of a hot day..if you get a hotter day than your training runs you'll want to start slower (30s added to pace per km per 2-3C over your usual training temps?)

    I did not hit the wall until the last mile or so in my first marathon (10:08/mile)...just a taste ;)

  4. Oh yes, one more thing.

    If you've run *three* 32km (20mile) runs, you are really well prepared. Some people only run one!