TEL AVIV – Noah Roth likes to recall two moments from Israeli marathons in which he’s raced: a competitor in Jerusalem breezing by him in 2010 wearing all-black, haredi Orthodox garb but for a white athletic shirt; and a Russian woman on this city’s Allenby Street who last year handed sprinters cups of clear-liquid refreshment – not water, but vodka.
“I’m neither a Tel Avivian nor a Jerusalemite. I like both cities, and I like both marathons,” said Roth, a corporate recruiter who lives in Beit Shemesh, about midway between the two. “Jerusalem has more of a family feeling. Tel Aviv is more like, ‘I’m out here for the event.’”