Interested in the running culture in Israel? Sarah Sechan from Sarah Runs Israel has all the details for you!
Hello! My name is Sarah Sechan, and I’m an Olah Hadasha/recent immigrant to Israel. As an avid runner, I knew that the best way for me to integrate into Israeli society was to get involved in the local running scene. After a lengthy internet search, I couldn’t find a lot of information in English about running in Israel (and Tel Aviv, in particular), and races in Israel. I decided that if someone was going to fill this niche void, it may as well be me, and Sarah Runs Israel was born!
Running culture in Tel Aviv
While it certainly has its fair share of junk food, Tel Aviv is a very health-conscious city. Tel Avivians work crazy hours, but they also find many ways to get/stay active, running included. When I first moved here, I was nervous to run alone after dark…until I realized that the streets were filled with runners! My favorite place to run in Tel Aviv is along the tayelet (boardwalk), and it’s always packed with runners. In addition to feeling safe (safety in numbers!), I really feel like I am in sync with regular Tel Aviv life.
That being said, if you’re running after dark please run in well-lit areas and please exercise caution (pun intended)!
In addition to the tayelet, I love running in Park Hayarkon. I only enjoy running here during the day, so I save it for my weekend long runs, if I’m training for a long-distance race or just need some meditative me time. A benefit to running along the tayelet and in Park Hayarkon is that there are plenty of water fountains, and the occasional public bathroom, so staying hydrated is never an issue.
The view from my run! If you’re jealous…come to Tel Aviv!
Run with a friend…or 50
For me, running is many things: It’s a way for me to relax and unwind, to process my day. I feel that when I run regularly, I am the best version of myself. However, running is also a social outlet. When I lived in NYC, I was part of an amazing running team, the Dashing Whippets. After I moved to Tel Aviv I quickly missed this camaraderie, so I asked around for local running groups. And when I say I asked everyone, I really mean everyone. Almost every person I asked (including friends, coworkers, my boyfriend, and even my landlord) said that I should check out adidas Runners Tel Aviv. I had already seen their signature black shirts at races, and I knew they were a pretty large group, so it seemed like it was worth checking out. If you’re in the Tel Aviv area, I highly recommend joining the group!
My favorite races in Israel
After moving to Tel Aviv I was excited to check out the local racing scene, and it didn’t disappoint! Although the races are a bit smaller than I’m used to, they’re no less exciting! Here are my three favorite races so far, and why I think you’ll love them, too:
Billed as one of the largest races in Israel, the Tel Aviv Marathon series is the perfect chance to run through Tel Aviv’s streets without dodging cars, bicycles, or scooters. The energy of running with thousands of runners was positively electrifying and is a great bucket list item. Sweaty and satisfied
Want to run the streets of Tel Aviv but you’re not a morning person? This is the race for you! The Tel Aviv Night Run is definitely more of a chill, party event than a serious road race, giving it a fun, relaxed vibe. Grab your friends, take a 10km tour of the city, and then celebrate with dinner and drinks! (Or just dinner, you do you.) This is one of my favorite medals I’ve ever gotten! I’m a huge fan of the glitter. 🙂
This race is off the beaten path, but I promise it’s worth it! Every year around late January-early March, the Darom Adom phenomenon sweeps across the northern Negev desert. Fields are blanketed by kalaniyot (anemones in English), red poppy-like flowers, and Israelis flock to the area for picnics and fun early spring activities. This race capitalizes on the excitement, offering 15km, 10km, 5km races, along with 2km and 300m events for children. Bring a picnic and have the best day trip, ever! Every race picture where I don’t look like I’m dying is a win. 😉