Tens of thousand participated in the 8th Jerusalem Marathon this past erev Shabbos, including Betty Deutsch, a Chareidi resident of the Har Nof neighborhood of Jerusalem, who came in first place for women among Israelis.
While there were other women who crossed the finish line ahead of her, they were runners from abroad. Betty (Batya) was the first Israeli woman to cross the finish line, the fifth female and 25th overall quickest runner to finish the 42K (26 mile) marathon, which she completed in 3 hours, 9 minutes and 48 seconds.
However, what stood out about Deutsch was her head covering, long skirt and shirt sleeves and her young children cheering on from the sidelines.
Batya is a 28-year-old mother of five who came on Aliyah from the USA five years ago. She has full-time job at a nonprofit but still finds time to train. “My journey to this marathon has not always been easy,” she wrote on Facebook. “There were ups and downs.”
This is the first time she participated in the Jerusalem marathon. Last year, she ran the Tel Aviv marathon while seven months pregnant, finishing with an impressive 4:08 time, well below the average time for women marathoners.
She told the media she did not run for her ego, but rather to support two charities: The One Family Fund, which aims to support victims of terrorism and their families and Beit Daniella, a rehab facility founded in memory of her cousin, Daniella Chaya Pardes. She was working to raise some of the $30,000 required by the organization to move into a new facility.
She calls her win “A gift from HK”BH, for giving her the ability and talent to run the race.”
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)