Although I do exist in two worlds, which often seem to conflict, this past Sunday I ran in a race that allowed me to see the two worlds grow closer together.
I have often wondered what it would feel like to be there at the beginning when a major business venture like Google or Microsoft gets off the ground. While it would be presumptuous to compare JRunners to those companies, I think that I am witnessing something great as I watch JRunners, the organization that is promoting healthy living and running in the Jewish community, take off.
While I could easily describe the race and make excuses for my slow time, what excited me the most was taking part in a Jewish running event which took the Jewish and the running part seriously.
Trying to hold an event that is open to all parts of the Jewish community from Chassidic to non-observant, while also being open to those from outside the community is no small thing. In a community that is sometimes divided, over issues from the serious to the absurd, it is a huge challenge to bring everyone together. JRunners took a huge risk by holding separate men’s and women’s races. While some people would not have participated had this been a mixed event, others might have been less than thrilled at what they considered unnecessary and out of date. Whatever ones own thoughts might be on this issue, I respect JRunners willingness to take a stand. Seeing the heterogeneous crowd that took part in the event was all the proof I needed to see that JRunners made the right decision.
On the running side, the event was about as professional as anything I have seen. From the use of chip time to the colorful shirts and finisher’s medals, everything in this race was first class. Having now witnessed two the first two events; this past summer’s 200K relay and this 5K, I know I am not alone in looking forward to what ever comes next. More than that, I am glad to be reminded, on Chanuka no less, that the physical and spiritual worlds can harmoniously coexist.
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