On March 4th, I’ll be participating in one of the coolest road races I have ever heard of. I’ve already had great experiences with road races in Jordan (see my post on the Amman International Marathon), but this one is on a different level. It’s called the Dead2Red – a 242 km (150 mi) race from the Dead Sea to the Red Sea, more than halfway across the entire country. The Dead Sea is on the northern end of Jordan’s border with Israel and the Red Sea is at the very bottom tip of Jordan. To make it a bit worse, the Dead Sea happens to be the lowest place on earth, so the first (very long) stretch is uphill.
242 km/150 mi? Bowman, you can’t do that. Well, I won’t be doing it myself – you run in teams of 10. The rule is that one person has to be running at all times. The rest of the group waits in the bus and when it’s time to switch, the bus stops to let someone new out to grab the baton and take up the running. Most teams have the runners do 0.5-1 km shifts so you end up running every half hour or so, but only for like 3-4 minutes, running a total of about 24 km (15 mi) over the course of the race. The race takes almost an entire day – it starts in the evening on a Thursday at the Dead Sea and ends mid-day on a Friday in Aqaba.
We have a team of 10 faculty members participating, ranging from a few of the 22 year olds to a couple of faculty members in their 50s. There are two student teams, and we hope to crush their hopes, dreams, spirits, everything. I’m starting to “train” now (though I don’t think it’s really as intense as it sounds). Look for future posts about our progress.