“Jerusalem of Gold you are mine!” posted Beatie Deutsch on Instagram after crossing the finish line of the 2018 Jerusalem Winner Marathon in three hours and nine minutes, putting her in first place among Israeli female participants.
Running in a below-the-knee sport skirt with her hair gathered in a scarf, the Orthodox 28-year-old mother of five finished fifth among all female marathoners and 25th overall in the March 9 race through Israel’s notoriously hilly capital.
“We know Jerusalem is the holiest city on earth, and I truly felt God’s loving hand guiding me along the course. My goal for this course was 3:16 and I would have been happy with anything under 3:20… but I surpassed my expectations and crossed the finish line 7 minutes earlier,” she wrote.
Deutsch ran her first marathon in February 2016 (finishing in 3:27) and joked to friends that her next two goals were to run a marathon pregnant and to win the Jerusalem Marathon.
“I guess I wasn’t really joking… because in the past two years I have been able to realize those two dreams,” related Deutsch, who finished the 2017 Tel Aviv Marathon in her seventh month of her fifth pregnancy, clocking in at 4:08. Her father, an American fertility specialist, advised her that she could run as long as she felt well.
Leading up to the Jerusalem Marathon, on February 22 she ran the 2018 Tel Aviv Samsung half-marathon in about an hour and a half.
The American émigré did gymnastics as a child and earned a black belt in tae kwon do in her teens. Her husband, Michael, inspired her to start training for her first marathon through his participation in a charity biking event. At the Jerusalem Marathon, he ran the last 10 miles by her side.
“I have learned that you can accomplish anything you set your mind on if you believe in yourself and ask Hashem [God] to help you. I have uncovered potential I never realized I have and discovered how rewarding it is to work and train for a goal,” she posted.
Many marathoners dedicate their run to raising money for charity. Deutsch gave supporters two choices close to her heart: OneFamily for terror victims and Beit Daniella, a teen rehab center being planned in memory of a cousin who took her own life at age 14.
Deutsch works at Olami, a worldwide network offering opportunities for text study, experiential engagement and educational trips to Israel for unaffiliated Jewish students.
What’s next on her agenda? Deutsch tells ISRAEL21c that she’s currently potty-training her son “and I consider it at least as challenging as running the marathon… but seriously I’m not sure yet. I’d love to do a sub-3 marathon and improve my half times as well. And I just want to keep enjoying running and inspiring other moms to get out there as well. I honestly do think raising children is the biggest challenge and every mom out there runs a marathon every day!”