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2020 Dead Sea Marathon Israel
Run at the Lowest Point on Earth
Friday, February 7, 2020, Ein Bokek
The Dead Sea marathon further extends the legacy of the established international Ein Gedi Run, which for over three decades has attracted tens thousands of professional and amateur athletes, offering a captivating running experience against the backdrop of fantastic and serene landscapes. The tradition of the Ein Gedi Run in memory of Tomer and Giora Ron continues with a dedicated 10K run.
The main area of this larger running celebration set on the new hotel promenade in Ein Bokek features the start and finish lines as well as the closing event. Dead Sea hotels offer accommodation and hospitality package deals in the heart of the happening.
The highlight of this running experience is the course that leads through the dikes at the Dead Sea Works plant and well into the southern Dead Sea basin. Reflecting a peaceful daily routine, the central dike marks the Israeli-Jordanian border with no fence. Runners are given a unique opportunity to enter this usually restricted access area and enjoy rarely seen breathtaking views.
The relatively flat surface of mainly compressed kurkar ensures high speed and best performance.
List of Heats:
10K Run – running along the new Dead Sea promenade, in memory of Tomer and Giora Ron.
21.1K Half Marathon – a fast and flat course across the dikes in the southern Dead Sea basin
42K Marathon – a fast course around Dead Sea’s southern shore and 21Km on the central dike
50K Ultramarathon – the official competition in Israel
- Prize money will be awarded to the winners in the general category of each race
Don't look back!
Written by Daniel Keren
Take a good look at this sculpture set in Vancouver. Two runners are depicted here; their expressions reflect a great effort. The runner on the left looks ahead while the one on the right glances back over his shoulder. This sculpture commemorates one of the greatest moments in the history of sport, the decisive moment in the race that was titled “The Mile of the Century“, “Miracle Mile“, and a defining moment in running history.
A race that brought together two runners, Australian John Landy and England’s Roger Bannister, who had achieved what was considered until that year humanly impossible, completing the one mile run in less than four minutes.
It was especially challenging for Landy. He had excellent speed but his strong competitor, Bannister, had a crazy kick, that is, the ability to gain speed rapidly towards the finish line and catch his rivals off-guard. Landy in a tactical decision started at a strong pace keeping his speed up all the way to exhaust Bannister to a point that he would not be able to carry out his famous sprint. Landy led the pack of runners firmly at a dizzying pace speeding towards a new world record.
At the halfway mark, Bannister was still trailing behind in fifth place unsure if he could keep up the mad pace all the way.
With one lap to go, Bannister worked his way up from the back positioning himself just behind Landy where he waited for the right moment. With approximately 90 yards to go, Landy who was concerned about Bannister’s position behind him glanced back to his left. At that very moment, Bannister passed him on the right with his famous sprint, heading to the finish line. They both crossed the finish line in less than four minutes.
Since then, much has been written about that look behind the shoulder, what it conveys as well as its consequences. However, the look behind the shoulder was already discussed thousands of years earlier as depicted through the story of Lot’s wife, which became a canonical historic narrative.
As is known, the evil deeds of the people of Sodom brought God to the decision to kill all the people of the city, except Lot and his family. The Angel of God, who spent the eve of the destruction of Sodom with Lot’s family, instructed them to flee: “…he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed.” (Genesis 19:17). Lot’s married daughters, on the advice of their husbands, dismissed the imminent threat disregarding all his pleas and Lot fled from the city with his wife and two virgin daughters. In their flight, while God poured fire and brimstone on Sodom and Gomorrah, Lot’s wife looked back, against the expressed command, and turned into a pillar of salt.
The gaze of Lot’s wife was given many interpretations: a fearful look that their flight was not fast enough and death would catch up, a curious look at the miraculous spectacle of fire and brimstone falling from the sky, or perhaps a look that expresses sorrow for her daughters who had been left behind.
Looking back may refer to the physical action but at the same time it suggests contemplating what has happened in the past. From looking back we learn where we came from and how we got where we are. It shapes our identity and can help us learn lessons from our experience and, no less importantly, from the experience of others.
In professional competition, looking back is considered taboo. It negatively affects running style, it causes the runner to take his eyes off the destination he is aiming for, and above all, it conveys fatigue and motivates those who identify the weakness to compete stronger than before. Looking back is the shift from running to win to running not to lose.
At the Dead Sea Marathon, as the gaze of Lot’s wife watches us running along the blue water, look ahead, look to the sides, don’t look back.
Medical Guidelines for Runners
Before you begin training:
If you have any doubts about your physical ability to begin running, it is advised to consult with your family physician or with a sports physician.
- If you have never run long distances before, training with professional trainer is advised.
- Include exercises in your training program that focus on both the cardiovascular and musculoskeletal systems.
- Be sure to follow a training program that is based on your personal fitness level to avoid over-training which can increase the risk of injury.
- It is advised to Set targets (distance and speed) that suit your training and fitness levels.
- Running the half-marathon is recommended for runners who have participated in at least three 10km races over the past two years.
- Running the full marathon is recommended only after running at least 2 half-marathon during the previous two years.
Injury or illness during training:
- Any training session that was canceled due to injury or illness will set the runner back two days in the training program. Please consult with an expert regarding the optimal way to resume training after an illness.
- Running with an injury that has not completely healed may worsen the injury and even cause irreversible damage.
- If you suffered from fever, upset stomach or diarrhea during the week before the marathon, do not participate in the marathon.
- The Ministry of Health recommends that runners be examined by a family or sports physician before running in the race.
- Ministry guidelines indicate that the examination should include an EKG in order to rule out congenital heart defects.
- The health statement includes a reference to the runner’s health condition during the week preceding the race.
48 hours before the race:
- Increase intake of carbohydrates such as pasta, rice, potatoes and bananas
- Consume a bit more salt that you normally would
- Refrain from drinking coffee and alcoholic beverages
- Drink 500 ml of water two hours before the race
- Slowly consume another 500 ml of water before the race begins
- Be sure to get enough sleep, especially on the night before the race.
During the race:
- Drink water at every station
- The recommended water consumption rate is 7 ml per kg per hour for men (e.g. a man weighing 70 kg should drink approximately 0.5 liters of water every hour) and 6 ml per kg per hour for women. Drink an additional 100-300 ml of water each hour, according to quantities of sweat and weather conditions
- On hot days, runners should pour water over their heads and bodies, cool themselves under the sprinklers along the course and increase water intake.
- Half-marathon and marathon runners should use electrolytes tablets, isotonic drinks or gels during the run in hot days and if you sweat a lot in order to avoid low sodium levels in the blood (hyponatremia).
- To estimate the amount of fluids lost while running, weigh yourself before and after training (without clothes that tend to absorb large quantities of sweat). Each kg. less after running is equivalent to 1-1.5 liters of water (but no more than that!).
After the race:
- Drink water and eat as needed
- It is recommended to weigh yourself before and after the race
- (without clothes that absorb large quantities of sweat), in order to estimate loss of fluids during the race. Every kilogram lost during the race should be replaced with 1-1.5 liters of water (but no more!)
Before and during the race:
- Dress according to the weather conditions on the day of the race. Prepare a change if needed after the race.
- Note important personal information on the back of your number tag including: name, telephone number, important medical information (sensitivity to drugs, conditions such as diabetes and asthma etc.)
- Runners with diabetes should carry a tag or indication of their condition and carry carbohydrates
- Runners with asthma should carry a tag or indication of their condition. It is recommended to use an inhaler as necessary
- Stop running, move to the side and approach a member of the medical team located along the course.
in case any of the following symptoms appear, notify a member of the medical team immediately.:
Dizziness, Nausea, Weakness, Chest pain, New, unfamiliar pain, Extreme shortness of breath, If you notice that any of the other runners are not feeling well or have collapsed.