Emu­nah not bowled over by rollover

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMUNITY NEWS - BY BEN WEICH

WHEN LAST year’s marathon fell on the sec­ond day of Pe­sach, a num­ber of Jewish char­i­ties de­cided not to field run­ners, miss­ing out on the rev­enue from spon­sor­ship. Race or­gan­is­ers promised that un­used places could be “rolled over” to the 2017 marathon, as is al­lowed when char­i­ties do not fully take up their an­nual al­lo­ca­tion.

But af­fected char­i­ties say they have been un­able to fill the ex­tra spots be­cause of the dif­fi­culty in find­ing ad­di­tional par­tic­i­pants.

At Bri­tish Emu­nah, di­rec­tor Deb­o­rah Nathan noted that “car­ry­ing over places is fine in prin­ci­ple. But be­ing able to fill double the num­ber is very hard. There was ef­fec­tively a glut as many Jewish char­i­ties had car­ried over places and the pool of po­ten­tial run­ners within our com­mu­nity is lim­ited.

“We hope that by rolling th­ese places for­ward in fu­ture years, we will even­tu­ally be able to use them all and re­coup the funds we would ex­pect to raise. We are al­ready ac­tively look­ing for run­ners to take part in the 2018 Lon­don Marathon.”

Emu­nah asks run­ners to bring in a min­i­mum £1,500 in spon­sor­ship and the £12,000 raised from its 2017 team will go to­wards a new dor­mi­tory for teenage boys at its chil­dren’s cen­tre in Afula, north­ern Is­rael.

Leeds-based re­tailer Jonny Gould was the the quick­est fin­isher in just un­der three hours 50 min­utes and the other Emu­nah run­ners were ac­coun­tant Marc Jack­son, Leeds City Coun­cil worker Claire Gothelf, so­lic­i­tor David Bondt, ac­coun­tant Roey Freilich and marathon vet­eran Flora Frank, who also rep­re­sented Nor­wood. Ms Gothelf “got to six miles and wanted to pack it in — it was so hard. I started off too quickly but I did it [in 5:19] and there was a huge sense of sat­is­fac­tion. I was run­ning in mem­ory of my dad Har­vey, who passed away ear­lier this year. I had a pic­ture of him on my back.”

Prest­wich-based Mr Bondt, 33, was car­ry­ing on a fam­ily tra­di­tion of sup­port­ing Emu­nah. “I was with my [late] grandma Irene when they opened the Beit Bondt build­ing at the Emu­nah Fam­ily Coun­selling and Day Care Cen­tre in Ne­tivot.”

As for the race, com­pleted in 5:09, “the train­ing app on my phone showed I had ac­tu­ally done 28 miles. The first five miles were OK. Then it was tough as you had to weave in and out of run­ners — and at times you had to walk. But the crowd was amaz­ing and the sun was shin­ing. It was a good day and I would highly rec­om­mend it.”

David Bondt and Claire Gothelf

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