The fastest Israeli woman to run the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon did so wearing a skirt and a head covering and with her family cheering from the sidelines.
Beatie Deutsch, a religious immigrant from the United States who lives in Jerusalem, clocked a time of 3:09:50 on Friday – making her the fastest Israeli woman, the fifth-fastest woman and the 25th quickest runner overall to finish the race.
Deutsch, 28, couldn’t be reached for comment on Sunday, but she wrote an emotional Facebook post after completing the marathon.
“There are no words to describe my experience today running the Jerusalem Marathon for the first time,” she wrote on Friday, adding that her finishing time was one she “never thought possible.”
“The atmosphere in Yerushalayim [Jerusalem] is incredible, so many Jews all coming together to raise money for beautiful causes, the unity, the pride it is truly special,” Deutsch continued. “But what stands out most for me personally is the feeling I had of Hashem [God] accompanying me every step of the way.”
Deutsch is a mother of five young kids with a full-time job at a nonprofit, but she always found time to train. Last month, she ran the Tel Aviv half-marathon and finished with an impressive 1:30:21. Last year, she raised eyebrows when she finished the full Tel Aviv Marathon while seven months pregnant. Despite her advanced pregnancy and a stress fracture, she finished in 4:08, well below the average time for women marathoners.
“My journey to this marathon has not always been easy,” she wrote. “There were ups and downs.”
Deutsch was running on Friday for two charities: the One Family Fund, which aims to support victims of terrorism and their families, and Beit Daniella. Beit Daniella is named for Deutsch’s cousin, Daniella Pardes, who took her life in December at the age of 14 after battling anorexia.
“Our dream is to build a rehab center called Beit Daniella for teens who are struggling with emotional challenges,” Deutsch wrote on Facebook. “This rehab program will incorporate therapeutic dogs and provide the teens with individual learning, personal therapy and the chance to become dog trainers. The goal of this short-term program is for them to return to their regular routine and daily life, as well as conventional schooling.”
Daniella’s family and friends are hoping to raise $30,000 to start building the center in Jerusalem or nearby.