Written by Anthony Mcalister

For many years I have long held the belief that when we stop challenging ourselves, a small part of us inside stops living.

So after three attempts at the Petra Desert Marathon it was a matter of unfinished business and the planning for a fourth attempt began. I rang Travelling Fit and booked a place for my partner and I in the Marathon with a rough Itinerary of the extra travel destinations, Dead Sea, Israel, Wadi Rum and Venice Italy for a post marathon relax.

Our first stop was at the Dead Sea for five days to start the acclimatisation process. It is truly an amazing feeling trying stay upright in the Dead Sea as the water is so salty that it just wants to flip you over and you float on the top. It was during our five days here that we did a day trip to Israel and toured to Jeruselum and Bethlehem, visiting places such as the Wailing Wall, Church of the Holy Sepulchre, King David’s Tomb and other sites. It takes a bit of time entering Israel for security reasons, but we had a fantastic guide which made the day a great success.

We joined the Marathon group and travelled to Petra. The day of the run was one of hottest days yet and it certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the toughest marathons in the world. The drink stops are about every 3kms with plenty of fluids and food at designated stops. The Petra site at the start is spectacular and the rugged beauty of the countryside is just amazing. Running on dirt tracks, dirt road, sand and sealed road, this course has everything including an uphill section that challenges even the best of elite athletes. I finished in 6hrs 44min, just inside the 7hr cut-off time. The following day a guided tour through the Petra Site is followed by a traditional Bedouin after party/farewell dinner.

From Petra we spent 4 days at Wadi rum enjoying Desert Tours, Camel ride, hot air ballooning and even had a crack at horse riding. The vast rock formations and the desert landscape is fantastic and has a real calming effect, especially in the evenings.

Our stay in Jordan went quickly and we were soon landing in Venice, Italy for some rest and new adventures. We stayed at a hotel recommended by Travelling Fit, located within minutes of most of the main attractions. We spent hours walking the streets with something around the corner to see, including the abundance of ice cream shops, (we needed lots calories to recover haha).

We had a fantastic holiday mostly due to the planning and professionalism of those at Travelling Fit. The marathon is run like a well-oiled machine and I am so thankful to their medical team for their support over the last 4 years. Carolyn at Travelling fit was fantastic in handling all the travel arrangements external to the Marathon package, as was Craig and Shaylee for their handling of the Marathon arrangements. We couldn’t really find any fault in our hotels, food, service etc as it was holiday to remember. I am looking forward to my next journey with Travelling Fit in 2 weeks’ time at the Bagan Temple Marathon in Myanmar.

Yours in Running

Tony and Lisa