No Palestine Marathon

A few days ago I changed my itinerary to remove the Bethlehem “right to movement” marathon from my race schedule. It’s with great shame I must admit that I was late to the airport and missed my flight out of Bangkok. It’s the first time I’ve ever missed a flight and let me tell you, it ain’t cheap.

Technically, I didn’t miss the flight… I managed to connect with an agent five minutes before take off and paid a change fee to move my flight. The six flights left on my itinerary would void if the agent did not submit the change before take off. This left me with five minutes to make a decision.

My phone was down to two percent battery and I was borrowing a power bank from a 15 year old girl in a train station (she saved me hundreds of dollars!). I only wanted to pay the change fee once so I had to decide if I wanted to continue on my journey a day later or head home with the Seoul Marathon in the books. Ultimately, I decided to head back to the US.

For one, I was nervous about the running. I was very slow in Seoul and had serious doubts about running another marathon 12 days later. Getting to the West Bank also required six more flights and transiting through four more countries. The attacks in Brussels were also weighing on me and I was nervous about security surrounding a race in Palestine.

I think I’ll be avoiding marathons in Europe and the Middle East for the next couple of years. I want to run marathons in South America, Africa and Australia/NZ to round out my inhabited continents and I also want to visit China, Taiwan and Indonesia. Ultimately, I’m pretty bummed but it just wasn’t in the cards for me.

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