28 Kislev 5778
December 16 2017


A Great Day For The Jerusalem Half Marathon
Stellar Weather Adds To The Great Performance Of The Beit Shemesh Runners Club
After a few years of abusively hot temperatures for this annual event, optimal conditions on April 3rd graced all the participants who ran in this year’s Jerusalem Half Marathon. The weather played a key part in producing a number of fast finishes and personal bests for this grueling course. Unlike many other races of the same 21 kilometer length, this course has many hills and some appear deceptively simple but in fact can stretch to nearly 2km long.

In addition to the great weather, there were a few changes in this year’s course that not only benefited the runners but eased the congestion and flow of traffic for motorists. Those who, knowingly or unknowingly, braved driving near the course had a hard time getting to their destinations. At a number of intersections tempers flared as the police stopped all traffic allowing the runners to complete the course undisturbed.

Givat Ram provided the backdrop of the races start and finishes. At 9:32 the gun was shot by Jerusalem’s Mayor Lupulianski to signal the beginning of the race. Runners then began their trek threading their way through Gan Sacher, residential sections of Bayit Ve’gan, to the Jerusalem Forest exiting by Yad Vashem with a very steep climb. They then ran through Kiryat Hayovel, down Golumb continuing past the Zoo. Runners then ran past Teddy Kollek Stadium and the all up hill climb back to Givat Ram.
“I think everyone feels good about a race in conditions like this.” said Richard Levitas, a member of Ra’tzai Beit Shemesh (BS Runner’s Club), after the race. “Everyone, I believe, felt they did their best and everyone is pleased with today’s results.” Levitas placed 20th overall and 3rd in his age group finishing in 1:26. Chaim Wizman, who placed 19th, fractions of a second before Levitas said, “he [Levitas] really pushed me. My injury from training for the race became so painful that I had to walk a few times during the race. My savior was Rich [Levitas] who wouldn’t let me give up. His screaming encouragement allowed me to push myself way beyond what I thought I was capable of, given the pain.”
Another runner from Ra’tzai Beit Shemesh, Yossi Klein, after crossing the finish line and catching his breath just yelled “I did it!”  He got great applause from his fellow runners as this veteran runner of this event finally broke a psychological barrier of a “sub-two hours”.  His time of 1:57 was one of the many personal bests recorded for the Yerushalayim Half Marathon by Ra’tzai Beit Shemesh members.

After such a memorable day and all that hard work you would think Ra’tzai Beit Shemesh are resting on their accomplishments. However, that is far from the case as now each member has enjoyed being the topic of conversation among the elite Israeli running clubs and pursue further personal bests in the upcoming Gush Etzion 10K scheduled for May 5th.
You can join this group of runners every Monday night at 8:30 at the corner of Re’uven and Shimon (by the park). Beginners and youth are encouraged as the group is comprised of all various levels of runners and take great pride in coaching new additions.




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