In the long run

Life is very unpredictable. Take mine. I never would have imagined that I would have had the experience I had today.

Several months ago, my oldest son, father of 6 children ages 2.5-14 told me that he was in training for a marathon. Now this son happens to come from a family that is not well-known for sports achievement. I used to swim and my husband did PT and running as part of his duties in the US Army, but the closest we got to enjoying sports was watching the half-time show of the Superbowl. Oh, there was that brief period when our two younger sons wouldn’t miss a football game when we lived at Fort Benning, Georgia, but that was because they were able to make a lot of money selling sodas and ice cream to the soldiers who were watching the games.

Of course we were supportive of our oldest son’s aspirations and we were interested in hearing about his training. As the date of the marathon approached, we asked if he would like us to go with him to Tiberias for the marathon. Not only did he say yes, but he was also happy that we could also take two of his children with us.

So yesterday we drove up through the Galilee, winding through the countryside as the day grew dim, and arrived at the hotel where we had reserved rooms. We were surprised that we had chosen exactly the hotel that was the headquarters for the marathon. The mood was electric with people from all over the world milling about and talking and getting their last minute headbands and wrist bands. Since the hotel, the Golden Tulip Tiberias, is an all inclusive hotel, we ate dinner there. After dinner, one of his daughers wasn’t feeling well and wanted to sleep, so my son stayed with her and we took his other daughter with us on a walk. We walked by the Kinneret (Sea of Galilee) and enjoyed seeing the lights of Tiberias and the Golan shimmering in the water. Later, at the hotel, we went and got soft drinks and enjoyed a program with Israeli songs and a trivia quiz.

Early this morning, all of us got up in anxious anticipation of the race. After breakfast, we walked together to the starting line. Thousands of people were there with hundreds participating in the marathon, the 10 K run, and the 5 K run among others. The atmosphere was exuberant. My son was excited and so were we! It was a bit cool and rain threatened. And then the countdown ended and off they ran! They ran south along the west coast of the Kinneret, turned east at the bottom and then north along the east coast. As they got close to the kibbutz Ein Gev, they turned south again and retraced their steps, ending back in Tiberias.

We walked back to the hotel with the two girls and took them swimming in the heated pool. They were delightful and we had a rare opportunity to spend a nice block of time with them. After we swam, it was time to shower, get dressed and go to see the people crossing the finish line.

We stood in the sun (yes, the rain did not come!) and watched as the tired but elated people came running past us. The girls were on a platform, my lookouts, and then, suddenly, there was a cry, “There’s Daddy!!!!” And there he was, coming across the finish line, successfully completing a marathon in about 3:58! We were very proud. We ARE very proud.

It was a great trip; it was a brilliant day; and it was a wonderful way to start a new year….

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  1. I know that excitement when Jack ran both the OPhiladelphia and NY marathons. Now, of course the scenery was nowhere as spectacular as yours, but it is a high and Ben had a great time! May this New Year bring him many such pleasurable moments and may you share them with him! San

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