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 scenery. Along the lane, 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 journey or a dedicated vacation build on a multi-stage race. New routes, scenery and challenges can help enliven one’s love of operating, while recognizing “the worlds” on foot gives 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 were equally memorable, but for different reasons. To avoid frustration, I now fly everywhere with a pair of coaches in my hand luggage. But in the early stages of November I, alongside Jordanian runner Mohammad Al-Sweity, took the combination of running or travelling a pace( well, a few actually) farther by jogging the Jordan Trail, a new 650 km( 400 -mile) route stretching the entire length of the country.

Here are five reasons why 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 road is immersed in history, traversing some of the oldest continually used tracks in the world; this is, after all, part of the fertile crescent where civilisation first developed.

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

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

As well as these headline attractions are countless more understated websites in the best interests. At Beit Edis, I tripped over some stones in a field and detected I had stumbled upon the site of a Byzantine church, complete with exposed mosaic floorings. In words 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 every 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 offer sustenance and encouragement( along with reiterated gives of cigarettes ). In the evenings, I would enjoy what can only are referred to as high-end glamping- a far cry from the self-supported strive that I was initially envisaged.

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

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

3 Not racing can be an absolute pleasure

Perhaps it reflects my narrow-minded competitiveness but the originality of operating without racing was a revelation. Much of my running in exotic places has been in races and , no matter how much I tell myself otherwise, I always end up endeavor.

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 time to marvel at the scenery, stop for tea with passing Bedouin shepherds or simply misread my GPS and end up on an inadvertent detour.

At days 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 demonstrate too much interest, so I would switch to an impromptu fartlek session. But, in general, I simply listened to my torso and ran or strolled or rested accordingly.

Whereas at the end of stage races participants often look like they have just been liberated 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 meat( and perhaps the is a lack of alcohol ).

Mohammad Al-Sweity on the Jordan trail

4 You will be rediscovering a timeless tradition

Until the 20 th century, long travel 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 or involuntary 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, almost instantaneous relocations. While this might be very convenient, it discontents us from the real meaning of distances and the gradual transitions of backdrop, people and culture. It likewise deprives us of an opportune time for reflection.

Our historic relationship with travels 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 walks. And for the time-poor, energy-rich, through-running offers a convenient alternative.

5 It finishes with a swim in the Red Sea

I arrived in the town of Aqaba, torn between satisfaction that I had survived intact( the same could not be said for my shoes) and disappointment that I had run out of trail. Nonetheless, plunging into the clear sea of the Red Sea furnished the ideal terminate to the expedition.

The Jordan Trail Association renders detailed information and guidelines on the road, including GPS files. Anyone accustomed to regular exert would probably be able to complete the trail in 25 -3 0 days and, for those inclined to running, 10 -2 0 periods is feasible. Popular parts 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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