Annie On The Run – Jerusalem Marathon 2014

Photo courtesy of Jerusalem Marathon<
As a travel professional who enjoys running, my ultimate scenario is combining both my passion for travel and running into a destination race. (Odd? maybe, but I’m not alone. Trust me – there are others out there like me!). So when I was offered an opportunity by the Israel Government Tourist Office to travel to Israel on a media trip and run in the upcoming Jerusalem marathon, my answer, without hesitation, was a resounding “YES!”  Sign me up!

Like most people these days, I too admit to having a bucket list and mine happens to be filled with a mix of exotic destinations, tossed with a number of unique, once-in-a-lifetime experiences and thrown in for good measure are as many destination races that my running legs can handle. Although I have a number of international races under my belt, this one, by a landslide, will be my furthest from home. Running in the Middle East? Who would have thought?  Happily, I embrace this challenge!

Prior to visiting a new destination I usually delve into a travel book to get somewhat familiar and up to speed with local customs, cuisine and must sees.  Here are a few ‘must dos’ I found interesting and hope to experience on my upcoming trip.

shutterstock_112507025Stalactite in Soreq Avshalom Cave located in the Judean Mountains, Israel

Wish list-

  1. Think green. Israel has a number of tranquil nature reserves where you can mellow out and explore the diverse countryside (including the Soreq Cave).
  2. Eat an Israeli Breakfast. A typical breakfast menu includes several types of healthy salads!
  3. Tour a winery. Israel is quickly gaining a reputation for its wine, which I will happily sample during my stay.
  4. Rooftopping in Jerusalem. This is excellent way to take in the sweeping panoramas of the city.
  5. Drift away. Last but not least, a trip to Israel would not be complete without a float in the Dead Sea, which is renowned to be uber relaxing.

When I mention to people that I’ll be travelling to Israel, their initial response is ‘is it safe?’ or they wish me a ‘safe’ trip. There is a perception out there which is, unfortunately, hard to shake. In speaking to people who have travelled to Israel they have had nothing but wonderful, positive experiences to report and many say that they would return in a heartbeat. Now that I have started my own countdown I can only dream of what each day will bring, what intriguing people I am destined to meet and form my own perception of a country I have yet to introduce myself to.

Shalom Israel….I am so looking forward to meeting you!

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