Running within boundaries expands my horizons all the way to the desert

Covid-19 is reshaping so many things in our lives. Society, economy, relations between people, security, confidence, all (and more) are shaken in a way most of us have never seen before. Truly, its magnitude is enormous, more of a new world war – just different battle fields. It makes you reconsider so many things in your life, what you really value? what’s important? what should i do in the future? would there be one?

During quarantine time I found running as the best relief. Since I live in the countryside, I was fortunate enough to be able to start the trails as close as 100 m from my house. Escaping from the turmoil for 1-2 hours was a true pleasure. It forced mt to cut down distances, but also to be creative and run trails close to home, that I have never run before. Having said that, my mind was distracted often, and I bet I twisted my ankle more than I could imagine. The peak was missing a hiding snake in the low grass, that bite me… luckily it was a “dry bite” wit very little venom and the effect was very local, some blood clothing, and 2 weeks of local pain.

As the quarantine was lifted, distances became longer again, and two great things happened. First, I started combining running with writing. Lilach started an “online” poetry writing group, which I gladly joined. I often find myself “writing” poems in my mind as I run, stop to record line on my mobile, hurry home to write them down. That with photos from my runs become great memories.

Then came the new challenge. Since flights are practically off, and no races, my brother talked me into taking a new challenge, here in the Negev desert. To run the “Makhtesh Ramon Circular Trail”. It is a ~125 km trail with approximately 3,500 meters climb, as a stage run in 3 days. Shortly after it became a “friends run” mini event, and it seems that at the end of September 2020 there will be over 40 of us on the trail.

Ramon Crater is a geological feature of Israel‘s Negev desert. Located at the peak of Mount Negev, some 85 km south of the city of Beersheba, the land form is not an impact crater from a meteor nor a volcanic crater formed by a volcanic eruption, but rather is the world’s largest “erosion cirque” (steep head valley or box canyons). The formation is 40 km long, 2–10 km wide and 500 meters deep, and is shaped like an elongated heart. The only settlement in the area is the small town of Mitzpe Ramon (“Ramon Lookout”) located on the northern edge of the depression. Today the area forms Israel’s largest national park, the Ramon Nature Reserve.

Running this trail is the new challenge – to be completed September 24-26th.

Till then, see ya on the trails!

MAkhtech Ramon (https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Mitzpe_Ramon,_Israel_(16037967337).jpg)
Makhtesh Ramon trail

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