Thursday, January 6, 2011

1st Stop in 2011: Tel Aviv

By Ross Forman

The plan was Paris in the spring – for the 35th annual 2011 Paris Marathon.

So, on Thanksgiving Day 2010, I looked at the event’s website and thought, yes, that will be my next marathon. The following Wednesday, while at O’Hare International Airport in Chicago, I got my airline ticket to Paris.

I was excited, but realized I needed to actually register for the event. So I went back online Dec. 2 – yet quickly learned that the Paris Marathon already had reached 37,000 entrants, thus, if I still wanted to participate, I had to do so through select travel agencies or charities.

Talk about a buzz kill.

I was back to square-one, where to run in the spring, since I didn’t want to go the travel agency or charity route.

I went back online, searching upcoming marathons, and the finalists were Barcelona, Madrid, Rome, Milano, Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Seoul, Dallas, Atlanta and Los Angeles. Each was picked strictly on the date of their marathon and what I predicted my March-April would be like.

I was told to skip Seoul and Milano – not much to see there. So they were eliminated first.

I heard Jerusalem would be very hilly, an up and down course, so it then was eliminated.

Los Angeles was looking like it was the one, but LA’s $140 registration fee was too high, in my opinion.

I feared Dallas could be really hot, so no Big D for me.
I kept coming back, er, going back to the website for the Tel Aviv Marathon … and after my friend Robin Lee encouraged me, I finally pulled the plug.

I registered for the annual Tel Aviv Marathon on Friday, April 8. Yes, I did say Friday.

I’m really not sure what to expect in Tel Aviv. Heck, there’s a lot on the event’s website that I can’t even read. In fact, when organizers emailed my registration confirmation, everything was in Hebrew; the only thing I could read was my name. Good thing a local rabbi confirmed it was my confirmation.

One thing I do know for sure is, after I finish the Tel Aviv Marathon, I’ll be running, although no doubt slowly, to the beach. (Please, Mother Nature, cooperate with me.)

My 11th marathon will be in the Middle East. Wow, I never in my wildest imagination, ever thought I’d be saying that.

Then what?

Don’t know, but no doubt another in the fall, and then back to Honolulu for its race on Dec. 11, 2011.

Am very optimistic that 2011 will be my best, most memorable running year. And for anyone even remotely thinking about a marathon, yes, you can do it! Go for it, dig deep – I am! Hope you’re listening, or reading, Shaun T.

Until next time,

No comments: