Monday, June 22, 2009

Runners Guide to Israel #2: The Triple Hill

After missing last weeks beautiful trail run because I was sick (no, not the swine flu), I ran this Fridays trail.

This run was called "The Triple Hill" and is a serious challenge for even the best runners. The triple hill is probably the most challenging trail run our group runs, and is legendary.

There are three opinions among group members as to how to relate to the triple hill:
  1. Those top runners who consider it 3 hills.
  2. Those runners who say it is really deceiving because it is really 4 hills.
  3. Those of us who say 3? 4? This run had 5 hills!
I am in group #3.

We began the run in Bet Shemesh, at the bottom of Aviv, and ran out the back way. We encountered a decently steep, but not long, hill pretty much right away (this is one of the hills the other two dont count!). The trail up took us to the back of the Beit Jimal Monastery. The hill up was what they considered the first of the three and was difficult, but not too bad. Maybe because it was still early in the run.

After a moment at the top, enjoying the beautiful vistas, we continued the run. We ran down past RBS, up towards Tel yarmouth. tel Yarmouth is an ancient Biblical village from the time of King David and has been a rich source of archaeological digs. The hill up to Tel Yarmouth was murder, with steep angles at times probably approaching 70 degrees. It was tough getting up that hill, but I made it!.

The top had even more beautiful views than the first hill, looking over the Elah valley.

From there we ran across to the Elah Junction. As we approached Elah Junction, I looked at my GPS watch and saw we had only run 8km, yet it felt like we had been running 20km already!.

At Elah Junc. We turned around and ran back toward RBS/BS. This included the killer Zechariya hill, though we ran through a peach orchard. I had previously only run the road version of this hill. The trail version is immensely more difficult.

From there we ran back to Bet Shemesh, closing the run at a bit more than 15km. My energy was completely depeleted, but I was not sore.

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