Running at the Lowest Place on Earth


Running in Amman is a challenge. Prior to moving here, I ran outside almost everyday, along a beautifully maintained path that paralleled the Potomac River. Here, I can’t really run outside. Sure, I could run with a group that runs on Friday mornings, but then I’m not a social runner (it takes ALL of my concentration and focus just to run, so conversations are out of the question). For me, running in Amman is limited to running on a treadmill. It’s not that bad, but training on a treadmill is difficult, to say the least.

I ran a half marathon (only my second) last Friday down at the Dead Sea. Raj dropped me off at Sport City at 5:00 AM. I boarded a bus at 6:00, and the race began at 7:40. The organization of the race was fabulous, the route was beautiful, and the weather couldn’t have been better! Where else but Jordan will you be able to run alongside camels and donkeys or see goats and sheep across the road?

The plan was to meet Raj at the finish line and then go to one of the hotels to spend the day away floating in the Dead Sea, but that didn’t happen. I ended up telling Raj not to meet me, afraid that the hotels would be booked to capacity thus making my Dead Sea soak a bit too crowded. We’ll be making up for the lost soak in an upcoming weekend when it’s less crowded and when my muscles aren’t as exhausted as they were at the run’s completion. All in all it was a great run (even though the race results aren’t up yet), well worth the hours of monotonous training on the treadmill!

View of the Dead Sea
Taken just a week before the race at the Dead Sea with friends


16 thoughts on “Running at the Lowest Place on Earth

  1. Hey Jen, This race sounds like fun to me.. Running past all those strange sites even if it was difficult it had to be rewarding. The pictures look great and the three chicks taking a mud bath looks like a hoot.. Yes, I know you were behind those expensive sun glasses. Love Dad

  2. Hi Jen,
    Congratulations!!! we miss seeing you purposely run on the San Clemente trail, with Raj attempting to close the gap! No wonder you never stopped and talked! I get it!
    And that pic of you and your friends in the Dead Sea…..Sure can tell you are a California girl! only one not wearing “shoes” in the water!!! Yea!!
    love ya,
    Dick and Mary

  3. Why can’t you run there? Is it weird social pressure because you’re a woman, is it too hot, or what?
    I see people running out here all the time even with 90% humidity etc.

    Totally feel ya on the running on talking thing though. That’s for amateurs.

    1. No one runs outside here. I guess it’s a cultural thing plus the woman thing…too much exposed skin would cause unwanted attention, you know?..and then the drivers here are crazy and sidewalks aren’t really for walking on…I can’t wait to get back to running in shorts and a tank on a running path in DC.

  4. Add super runner to super teacher! You look way too fabulous to have just run a half marathon. Glad we have an athlete in CC.

  5. Great to see you enjoying yourself… I love the travel info on your blog (read from beginning to end last night?!) but will continue to avoid the recipes for all the gorgeous goodies … (I am currently trying to work off the ‘weight of experience’ from my previous job?!).

      1. Thanks, Jen … the job was actually great – lovely people and fascinating work, just not enough of us to do what we were trying to do (sadly, often the case with non-governmental organizations?!?) … Enjoying the sun and novelty of Jordan and hoping to move into our new place at the end of the week …inshallah?!

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