May 18, 2012

Keeping Busy

Posted in Uncategorized at 9:51 pm by Lisa

So, as usual it’s been ages since I’ve written – how people blog every day (some more than 1 post a day), is beyond me. Where do they find the time?

In addition to the usual work/life routine, I’ve had some really interesting adventures and, par for the course, the blog posts written in my head are fantastic. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get them down on paper (or screen), so I decided to lump them all together.

Midnight Run

 A few weeks ago I joined a team of 13 to participate in the Mountain2Valley race (http://www.mountain2valley.org/page.aspx). It’s a great relay race from the North of Israel, down 216 kilometers to the Yizrael Valley. I did the race the first year and had a fantastic time and have been looking for a way to do it again. After harassing the leader of the running group from Etgarim, and promising to handle all the logistics, we were able to put together a team.

In a nutshell, the course is divided into 24 sections. We were a team of “8” (although we were 13 people) – with two visually challenged/blind runners from Etgarim, theyobviously  had to have people running with them. My sections were the 1st, 9th and 17th, and I was running Yosi, a 65 yr old blind runner who basically is more fit than me), Hila and Moshik.

Image

Car No. 1 at the Start Line!

The whole aspect of the organizing was a bit overwhelming, as we ended up being 4 separate cars, all starting at different times (since I was in the first leg, and captain of the team, I had to wake up at 2:30am to ensure that after picking up everyone in my car, we would make the drive all the way up North to pick up our numbers/chip and ensure we made the start line ok.)

Image

Hila and Yosi

As in any relay race, each of our eight team members would run their particular legs, and then it would start all over again. So my last run was at 11:30 at night, which was awesome! It took us 22 and 1/2 hours to complete the entire 216km. There were lots of fun things that happened during the race, meeting up with the other group members throughout the race for a few impromptu picnics by the Yarkon river, converging on the Arcaffe cafe (with runners from other teams constantly coming in for their coffee fix) and stumbling upon editors from a local sports site who were covering the race. They interviewed us for one of their Facebook posts. During one of our long breaks, we took a detour and ended up at the top of a mountain and just chilled out, waiting until our next turn to run again.

Image

Chilling!

In total, I got about 3 hours of sleep over 2 days but it was definitely worth it. Everyone had such a great time that we’re still talking about it and can’t wait for next year’s race!

Image

At the end of the first leg, in my first of four set of clothes!

Image

At the finish line, with our well deserved medals and matching Etgarim shirts!

Judgement Day

A couple of months agon, I was participating in some race or another and was thinking that it would be cool if I did some volunteering for a race, to see what it was like from the “other side” and to give back a little. A week later, an email showed up from the Triathlon organization looking for technical officals for local triathlons. All that was needed was to attend a short lecture and pass a test. Luckily the 120 page rule book was in English, and it was an at-home test. So I ended up passing and am now qualified to be a judge/referee/official here. (With more classes, there eventually is the option to work international triathlons but I’m not even going there yet.)

Anyway, I had my first job as an official last week and it was great! At first I was really nervous. I didn’t want to mess up and risk jeopardizing someone’s race by making a bad decision. On the other hand, I wanted to make sure that I was doing the job correctly. Eventually I got into the swing of things and ended up having so much fun (and I think I did an ok job, for it being my first time). I was at a number of different stations during the race. My first job was helping with the check-in – 500 athletes all pumped up on adrenaline, anxiously waiting to get into the transition area to get ready for their race. I had to make sure that everything was kosher – from ensuring their numbers were written properly on their bodies to making sure that their bike brakes worked (bizarrely there have been cases where people would try to race without working brakes – I guess that’s one way to try and go as fast as possible). Following that, I was down at the start line on the beach. I held the tape for all four starts, and actually had to warn someone about not starting (he didn’t have a swim cap which is required). It turns out that he got into the water anyway but I stopped him when he was getting out and got his number to give him a penalty (rules are rules!). In between starts, I worked in the transition area, and once everyone was out on the course, I was sent to the bike route where I had to watch out for people who were drafting. Which lots of people were doing. I spent about 40 minutes yelling out numbers and calling people for drafting or blocking. That was actually very hard and I definitely needed a bit more confidence in that. All in all, it was very cool and I really enjoyed it. I have another 2 races lined up this season to judge at and another 2 triathlon races that I’ll actually be participating in. More on that below!

Ride of Silence

On Wednesday, just by chance, I happened upon a bike ride in Tel Aviv that is part of worldwide movement. Each year, bikers in different cities get together and ride in silence to remember the bikers who were killed in accidents during the previous year.

In Israel, twelve people were killed since last May, with many more injured. While there weren’t many people who joined the ride, I am sure that this is a PR issue (I spoke to the organizer and there were about 3 notices he posted on various forums.) No Facebook, no outreach to the many biking and triathlon teams, no working with any of the various sport organizations. I hope that next year I can help make a difference in getting more people to participate. It’s most definitely a worthwhile cause to promote and get more widespread awareness. The 2013 ride is the 3rd Wednesday at 19:00, starting at Reading, in Tel Aviv. Hope to see you there!

Ramping up for Tri Season

And as mentioned before, tri season has started and I’m ramping up my training. We’ve started our Friday morning swims again and while I was super rusty the first time out, I’ve managed to increase both my time and distance. Today I practically did a triathlon during training – had to bike up to Herzliya, ran 3km, swam 600 meters and than biked back to TA. All in all, a 2 hour training session.

Can’t wait for my first triathlon on June 2. Hopefully I’ll get it together to write a prompt blog post – it promises to be a great race!