Headed to Israel for a Half Ironman

>> Tuesday, December 31, 2013

About 2 months ago, I was contacted by some people from Kinetis regarding the 2014 Israman Negev triathlon in Israel.

Long story short: they're sending me to Israel in a few weeks to cover the race! I just got my plane ticket confirmation a few days ago. I don't know our exact itinerary, but I know that I'll end up in Tel Aviv with 4 other bloggers after 3 flights. Then we'll spend a day or 2 in Jerusalem, stop back for a costal tour of Tel Aviv, and then take a quick (4th) flight to Eilat to do the race. After that, it's 4 more flights to get back home (Eilat > Tel Aviv > New Jersey > Chicago > St. Paul). You all know that I can't run much now (coming off a big injury from back in Aug/Sept), but I'm doing the swim portion (1.9K) IN THE RED SEA!

The race is in Eilat, Israel, which is at the southern tip of the country at the northern tip of the Red Sea. Just 2 miles east from the center of Eilat is Jordan, and about 8 miles west is Egypt:



Here's a video from the race website - Eilat is shown at 0:23, and race footage starts at 0:40:


Direct Link: http://youtu.be/OkuJPAVHpcA

I asked if I could do the swim and then just drop out, but the race director set me up with a biker and a runner, so now we have a TEAM! I found out (using Google Translate because some of the race info is in Hebrew) that I've been teamed up with a 56-year-old male biker named Ran from Tel Aviv and a 43-year-old female male runner named Sharon from around Jerusalem:



UPDATE: Someone who reads Hebrew contacted me told me that Sharon above is a man, so I'm sorry I just assumed he was a woman! Sorry Sharon!

One interesting thing about the relays is they are split by sex (which is normal), but then they are split up once more by age: if everyone's age added up is under 119, they're in one group; and if they're 120 and above, they are in another. They even have a relay category for families (parents, children, grandchildren, and in-laws).

I've been swimming more this winter than I usually do because of my recent swim-off against that pro-triathlete fella, and that extra yardage will hopefully be helping me out in a few weeks when I'm racing in the Red Sea. (See the swimmers in the video above between the 0:40 and 1:00 mark to see what I'll be doing, and to see how beautiful the water looks!)

Israman Negev has a half iron distance and a full iron distance. The cut-off time for the full is 23:15, which is quite a bit longer than the 17:00 cut-off at Ironman-sanctioned races - we'll see how long I can last at the finish line on race day and the next morning! Oops, their cut-off is 17 hours just like an Ironman - 23:15 is the time of day (after a 6:15 start). Their full iron distance race was named "1 of the 10 best iron distance races IN THE WORLD" in 2010 by Triathlete Magazine! So this should be good.

Stay tuned for more on this! I'm PSYCHED!! Thanks Kinetis for sending me!!

18 comments:

Shinianen 7:58 AM, December 31, 2013  

Wow! Amazing! Have a great time!

Rizel 8:55 AM, December 31, 2013  

So cool!! I lived in Jerusalem for 5 years and have been to Eilat a few times so if you have any questions or need help translating anything from Hebrew let me know!

Mike 9:04 AM, December 31, 2013  

I just spent 11 weeks in Israel during 2013. I was primarily in Tel Aviv, but also traveled to Relate and Jerusalem. Let me know if you need some pointers or tips.

Mike 9:04 AM, December 31, 2013  

I just spent 11 weeks in Israel during 2013. I was primarily in Tel Aviv, but also traveled to Relate and Jerusalem. Let me know if you need some pointers or tips.

swimruneat 9:07 AM, December 31, 2013  

Wow I am super jealous! This sounds awesome.

Lisa 9:43 AM, December 31, 2013  

Very exciting! I'm actually a triathlon judge in Israel but I'm not scheduled to work that weekend.
I live in TA and if you plan a meet-up, I'd be thrilled to join.
If you have any questions regarding Israel or the triathlon itself, I'd be happy to help! You're going to have a great time!

Kimberly Truesdell 11:27 AM, December 31, 2013  

So frickin' awesome! I went there in 2001 and it's amazing. Have a great time and soak in everything you can.

Ian McDormand 8:25 AM, January 02, 2014  

A friend of mine was in Israel a while back and had a chance to swim in the Dead Sea. He said the water stung his pee hole....

Susie Newday 2:20 PM, January 08, 2014  

You are going to have a great time, see loads of interesting things and meet lots of great people. Kinetis takes good care of their bloggers.

Good luck!

Daniel Pearlman 1:10 AM, January 09, 2014  

Steve. I think you made another error. The final cut off time is 23:15 (11:15pm) not 23 hours and 15 minutes after the start!

Hagai Ashlagi,  12:03 PM, January 09, 2014  

Actually Steve, the cut-off IS 17 hours. The race ends at 23:15 at night, after starting at 6:15 in the morning - 17 hours. I'm a swimmer in a relay too so we'll go head to head. 2 former Israeli olympians also swimming the relay. One of them - Alon Mandel (Beijing 2008 - trained at Michigan with coach Bob Bowman and one Michael P) is teamed with former under 23 world road cycling chammpion - Dmytro Grabovskyy. In the relay, there will also be 3 girls from the junior open water swim team.
I'll See you there. Have a great time!

Hagai

Steve Stenzel 1:26 PM, January 09, 2014  

Oops, thanks Dan and Hagai. I've been missing the small details and/or things have been lost in translation for me lately!

Hagai, that's awesome! Make sure to say HI so we can get a photo. See you there!!

Unknown 7:04 AM, January 10, 2014  

Enjoy!! the water is fabulous! and if you have the time - I reccomend swimming also in the Tel Aviv beach. the water is a bot chilli - 18C - but clear and calm ad wonderful.

Anonymous,  2:32 AM, January 12, 2014  

Sharon is actually from Matsuva, which is in the northern part of Israel (near the lebanise border), almost the other side of the country. Zubba is another place and is indeed near Jerusalem.
In any case, enjoy Israel and enjoy your experience.

Ben Greenfield 9:50 AM, January 12, 2014  

Best of luck, Steve...and I look forward to meeting you there!

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