From exhaustion to exaltation over 80km ultra-marathon

After a little over 70 kilometers of running, I reached the top from where I could watch over the city of Jerusalem, and suddenly everything was connected.

By DANIEL ARGO
December 7, 2018 04:20
1 minute read.
DANIEL ARGO will take part in the HUM – Hirus Ultra Marathon Jerusalem 2018 today in the capital

DANIEL ARGO will take part in the HUM – Hirus Ultra Marathon Jerusalem 2018 today in the capital. (photo credit: Courtesy)

 
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In long runs, it is customary to think that you are most likely to expect a crossing of the finish line. But this time, it was not the sweetest moment.

After a little over 70 kilometers of running, I reached the top from where I could watch over the city of Jerusalem, and suddenly everything was connected – the rhythm of the breathing, the scenery, the music in the earphones. And from there to the finish, an hour later, I just felt like I was flying. The joy I felt as I ran through the forest, on a perfect day, accompanies me long after the experience is over.

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Though, a few hours earlier, it was far from perfect. I was in the middle of a long, rocky section that felt as if it would never end. I was tired, the rain was beginning to annoy me, and I had no idea how long I had left to the nearest feeding station. And as happens in almost every long run, the moment comes when you just ask yourself – ‘how did I ever get here?’

In a world that constantly engages us in stimulus, there’s something very pure about a trail race. Allegedly, it’s the simple act of running – that we all know and some of us have learned to love. But when you run outdoors, in nature, for a relatively long time, there is a sense of depth, regeneration, and also introspection. Thus, sometimes you come slowly in the middle of the forest, at a competition of 80 kilometers and ask yourself, why this is good?

It’s good, because these hours alone on a long run, are a journey that is only yours. And when all shall connect and flow – this happiness will be yours.


This week, hundreds of runners will jump into the Hirus ultra-marathon in the Jerusalem hills. I have no doubt that (almost) everyone will experience similar senses – of exhaustion and elation. And for many of them, this experience will be significant even in years to come.

The HUM race is the largest and toughest terrain race in Israel – taking place for a second consecutive year, on December 7 in Jerusalem.

The writer is a participant, as well as an initiator, of the Jerusalem ultra-marathon

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