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Tiberias Marathon

(17 January 2011)

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 Sarah Parfitt, from High Road, Cookham, completed the Tiberias Marathon in Israel on 6th January, she had been sponsored for the run with the donations going to the Rainbow Pre-school in Cookham. She said "The Tiberias Marathon  was a wonderful adventure but undoubtedly the hardest race of my life! It took me 4 hours and 21 minutes to get around the 42km course (a long way from my personal best of 3 hours 44!). After a fourteen hour journey, we arrived at our guesthouse in a gated community near Tiberias at midnight and started cooking our pasta. In the end, we barely got more than 3 hours' sleep! We had to get up at 6am to carbo load and register for the marathon. It was a hot day and great to see some sunshine after all the snow back home. Everything started off well but at the 5km mark (with 37kms to go!), my legs started to seize up and I also had stomach cramps (ouch!). It was a battle of the body and the mind to get to the end of the "undulating course"!! Just getting across the finish-line felt like quite an achievement!.

Despite the challenges, we met some amazing people along the way and the marathon, which took us around the Sea of Galilee, had a unique feel to it - other competitors included members of the Israeli police force, UN workers and a group of runners carrying pink balloons doing it in memory of an Israeli Ironman who was killed recently. Some runners even stopped at the side of the road to pray en route...

 The adventures didn't stop after the marathon. I drove from the Golan Heights down to the Dead Sea where Nusi and I had a float - what a serene experience that was! Then, we drove to the Negev desert where we stayed in a camel-hut and went for a camel-ride in the desert - I think that was the highlight of the trip for me!!. We finished up in Jerusalem which was fascinating and a feast for the senses....".

Sarah is raising money for the Rainbow Pre-school in Cookham which runs at the Methodist Church in Lower Road. She has raised more than 600 for them from sponsorship, and says a big thank-you to everyone who has sponsored her. 

 
Sarah has also been given a BBC Running Club place for the London Marathon in April, so the Tiberias Marathon will be a great training run for that.
 
Sarah says  "suffice it to say that our trip was definitely a life-affirming experience".

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