Outdoor World

Jogging in Jordan: the 650km trail that’s a journey through time

The Jordan Trail takes you through the meditates of an ancient landscape. Along the behavior, youll discover the best operating gasoline in the world


Running and travelling can be the perfect partners- whether that’s an early morning exploratory jog on a business trip-up or a dedicated holiday built around a multi-stage race. New roads, backdrop and challenges can help enliven one’s love of running, while ensure the world on foot offerings an enhanced perspective.

For me, the steps up to the Mtatsminda plateau outside Tbilisi and the colonial racecourse in Mumbai at sunset stand out as all-time favourites; the chaotic streets of Lagos are similarly memorable, but for different reasons. To avoid frustration, I now wing everywhere with a pair of trainers in my hand luggage. But in the early stages of November I, alongside Jordanian athlete Mohammad Al-Sweity, took the combination of pour or travelling a stair( well, a few actually) further by jogging the Jordan Trail, a new 650 km( 400 -mile) itinerary stretching the entire length of the country.

Here are five reasons set out above the experience might appeal to everyone from weekend walkers to elite ultra-runners…

1 It’s one long sightseeing tour

To say that the Jordan Trail passes some interesting places would be an absurd understatement. The trail is steeped in history, spanning some of the oldest constantly used tracks in the world; this is, after all, part of the fertile crescent where civilisation first developed.

The rose-red city of Petra. Photo: www.alibarqawistudios.com

Starting amid the spectacular Roman ruins of Gadara at Um Qais, with the Golan Heights and the Sea of Galilee in the background, the trail weaves it lane south. Along the lane it passes the reformer palaces of Ajloun and Karak, the biblical site of Mount Nebo, the stunning city of Petra and the protected deserts of Wadi Rum.

As well as these headline attractions are countless more understated sites of interest. At Beit Edis, I tripped over some stones in a field and discovered I had stumbled upon the site of a Byzantine church, complete with exposed mosaic floors. In terms of historical itineraries, the Jordan Trail would be hard to beat.

2 You can eat your body weight in delicious meat

According to Strava, I was igniting 6,000 -8, 000 calories each day. That’s a lot of hummus. Fortunately, I had special privileges of being supported by the Jordan Trail Association. Several times a day, a pickup truck would intercept me( where feasible) to provide sustenance and encouragement( along with echoed offers of cigarettes ). In the evenings, I would enjoy what can only be described as high-end glamping- a far cry from the self-supported attempt that I was initially envisaged.

The best gasoline in the world. Photo: www.alibarqawistudios.com

Jordanian food is ideal operating gasoline. Any cuisine that includes fudge for breakfast( halaweh) will always win my affection. Along with fresh bread, eggs, hummus, cheese, olives and honey, it the ideal start to the day. On the trail, I subsisted on occasional Tribe saloons and frequent beakers of sweet black tea. In the evenings, I munched my behavior through mountains of rice, chicken and salads, followed by gooey honey and nuts.

3 Not racing can be an absolute pleasure

Perhaps it indicates my narrow-minded competitiveness but the novelty of operating without racing was a revelation. Much of my is participating in exotic places has been in races and , no matter how much I tell myself otherwise, I ever end up endeavouring.

On the Jordan Trail it was quite different. We had a target destination each day, but whether it took six hours or eight hours was irrelevant. This left plenty of is high time to marvel at the backdrop, stop for tea with passing Bedouin shepherds or simply misread my GPS and end up on an inadvertent detour.

At hours I chose to increase the tempo- on the shaded road of Zubia forest or on the hard sand of Wadi Rum- and occasionally a guard dog tasked with protecting the livestock from wolves and hyenas would show too much interest, so I would switch to an impromptu fartlek conference. But, in general, I simply listened to my torso and ran or walked or rested accordingly.

Whereas at the end of stage races participants often definitely sounds like they have just been released from a gulag, I felt far better at the end of the Jordan Trail than at the beginning- the effects no doubt of fresh air, exercise, plenty of sleep and good food( and perhaps the is a lack of booze ).

Mohammad Al-Sweity on the Jordan trail

4 You will be rediscovering a timeless tradition

Until the 20 th century, long journey on foot would have been a necessity for many( and still are for some today ). Whether walking to Mecca or Rome on a pilgrimage, initiating voluntary and involuntary disappearances migration, or simply conducting trade, our ancestors regularly embarked on weeks or months of strolling. Today, most of our lives consist of sedentary stagnation interspersed with occasional, nearly instantaneous relocations. While this might be very convenient, it discontents us from the real meaning of distances and the gradual transitions of scenery, people and culture. It likewise deprives us of an opportune time for reflection.

Our historic relationship with jaunts by foot perhaps help to explain the increasing popularity of through-hiking; alongside, of course, the emergence of the middle-aged gap time. From the Appalachian Trail to Offa’s Dyke to el Camino de Santiago de Compostela, the increase in the number of people are choosing to go for long strolls. And for the time-poor, energy-rich, through-running gives a convenient alternative.

5 It finishes with a swim in the Red Sea

I arrived in the town of Aqaba, snap between satisfaction that I had lived intact( the same could not be said for my shoes) and disappointment that I had run out of road. However, plunging into the clear water of the Red Sea the ideal terminate to the expedition.

The Jordan Trail Association provides detailed information and guidelines on the itinerary, including GPS files. Anyone accustomed to regular exercising would probably be able to complete the trail in 25 -3 0 days and, for those inclined to run, 10 -2 0 periods is feasible. Popular sections for shorter walks include Um Qais to Ajloun and Petra to Wadi Rum .

You can see more about the first recorded run of the Jordan Trail on Instagram (@ jogonalfie) and Strava .

Read more: https :// www.theguardian.com/ lifeandstyle/ the-running-blog/ 2017/ dec/ 15/ jogging-in-jordan-the-6 50 km-trail-thats-a-journey-through-time

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