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Ultra-Orthodox Israeli woman breaks religious barriers — and racing records

An ultra-Orthodox mother of five from Israel won Miami’s half-marathon on Sunday as she angles to represent Israel in the upcoming Olympics in Tokyo.

Beatie Deutsch, 30, won the 18th annual Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon event in the women’s category with a time of 1:16:4, according to the Miami Herald.

Known as the Marathon Mom, Deutsch adheres to her religious observances, running in a skirt, head covering and long sleeves. But her athletic ambition is a rare quality in the Haredi world among both women and men.

“Many people ask me if here’s a contradiction between religion and sport and I really don’t see it that way,” Deutsch said, “Taking care of body and soul is considered a mitzvah.”

Deutsch moved to Israel from the United States in 2009 and only began running in 2015 with the goal being to “get back into shape” after a few pregnancies. She finished in sixth place in her first marathon, in Tel Aviv with a time of 3:27:26.

The relatively new runner won first place among Israeli woman at the 2018 Jerusalem Marathon, setting a course record of 3:09:50 for Israeli female runners. She also won Beit She’an’s half marathon with a time of 1:19:53 and Tiberias’ full marathon in 2:42.18.

Deutsch earned international recognition in May, becoming the top female finisher in Riga’s half marathon (1:17:34) — and the first Haredi woman to win an international athletic competition.

Even if she does earn the honor to represent Israel in Tokyo, Deutsch may not be able to compete as the race is scheduled for Saturday — Shabbat.


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