February 23, 2018 – Keep your distance, though, Chewie. But don’t *look* like you’re trying to keep your distance – The Tel Aviv Marathon

I don’t know.  Post casual.

The Pre-Race Wait Around:

I checked out the marathon route map.  I don’t care if the map isn’t drawn to scale, there really seems to be some missing kilometer markings between 28 and 31… like, I dunno, 29 and 30?

Apparently A LOT of us decided to wear the race shirt on race day.

So they sorted us into Corral A and Corral B to have us go to the start line.  They kept emphasizing the “your time doesn’t start until you cross the timing mat so no need to push and shove to the start.”  Yet when they released us to the start line, people were sprinting and it was like a quick warm-up dash.

Waiting at the start line:

Almost none of the photos I snapped in the opening kilometers came out.  They’re all super blurry… including the one I really wanted of a solo artist at a music riser rocking out for the runners.  He brought his own smoke machine.  But alas, you’ll just have to, ahem, believe me that this happened.  As proof of my honesty and integrity, here’s a perfectly blurry shot of the 5K marker.

Photos started turning out okay as the Ks piled up.  The dreary and at times minorly drizzily morning would eventually give way to a nice, sunny day.

Obstacle ahead.  I feel like I should see this sign in front of me every day.

Hey, look — volunteers!


See that hotel?  That’s the hotel I walked to/from the last few days for those crappy Tourist Israel experiences.  Would you like to know more?  Click here… and here… and here.

Blah, blah, blah.  More running.

Hey, look!  The Halfway point!

Sun’s coming out…

Sometimes I like kilometer marked races as the markers come a bit faster and furiouser than when doing the mileage.  But EVERY time I run one, I curse the stupid 26K marker.  It’s such a tease.  There’s still ten miles to go and yet… it says 26!  I know 26.  Twenty-six is a friend of mine.

I skipped the snack table but thanked the volunteers.  I kept using English when I should have been saying, “toda.”


It’s right around here that I started really feeling the miles and the jetlagged and bus-jacked sleep issues.  Dead Tired Kevin Walkin’!

My first day here I wandered past the PussyCat Club.  Stay classy, Tel Aviv.


I’m not sure you can tell from the photo below but this is the biggest K-Y jelly ad I’ve ever seen on a building.

Here.  Right here.  This is the moment I knew definitively I wasn’t going to hit my BQ time.  I just couldn’t.  So I didn’t.


This is leading into the finishers chute.  See those speed bumps/sleeping policemen?  Notice there’s no “Obstacle Ahead” sign?  Know what’s awful at 42K or 26 miles when you still have 195 meters or .2 miles or whatever was left here?  Speed bumps/sleeping policemen.

And as this dude sprinted past me, the clock flipped over to 3:17:01.  As expected, a non-BQ.

I posted this photo to Facebook earlier.  Late last year in Myanmar, a fortune teller told me I’d find love with a non-American while traveling this February.  I don’t know where this is leading, but I do know I got a date!  Hey yo!

The finishers food tent was a bit meh… and I was a bit disappointed that the coke machines were sadly coke-less.


But you know what?  I did like the yogurt mix-in thing they gave me.

Getting out into the hoi polloi, the finishers festival was a madhouse.  Just waves of people, oblivious to others either due to running and not being able to walk straight or because, ya know, they were jerks.  Just like me, it was a little bit of both.

This was a pop-up coffee stand that offered feats of strength contests.  The last thing I wanted to do after running a marathon was embarrass myself with a mallet and then do pushups.  I don’t care how great that sleeveless shirt promoting the coffee brand was.

The yogurt ran freely… until it ran out.  Here the Mueller Women are telling folks, “no more.”

Just… mass quantities.

I didn’t bring any shekels so no street fair food for me.  I thought about Fred C. Dobbs-ing the ice cream place…



My AirBNB Hostess is kindly letting me use her washing machine.  She had a family emergency and left me detailed instructions… as well as saying she saw me running online.  This is the photo she sent me:


Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to take a nap while my clothes dry.  I’ve got a cab coming at 4:45 AM to take me to the airport and onto Tunisia.

Unfortunately I didn’t realize my hostess doesn’t have a dryer.  What are the odds my clothes will be dry by tomorrow morning?

I know, I know.  Never tell me the odds.