An orthodox Jewish woman from Israel beat out 20,871 racers at the half-marathon at the 18th annual Life Time Miami Marathon and Half Marathon event.
Bracha “Beatie” Deutsch, a mother of five from Jerusalem, ran to raise money for Beit Daniella, a charity for children with mental illnesses.
Following the race, she called her husband Michael, a yeshiva teacher and computer science student.
“Hi! It’s your wife. I won!’’ she said as quoted by the Miami Herald. “It wasn’t a great [finish] time, but it was hard — windy.”
Deutsch began running in 2016 at the age of 25 and finished sixth in that year’s Tel Aviv Marathon, and in 2017 she completed the Tel Aviv Marathon while seven months pregnant. In 2018, Deutsch broke the course record for Israeli women by winning the Jerusalem Marathon.
In 2019 she won the Tiberias Marathon, the Israeli half marathon and marathon national championship, and her first-ever international race at the Riga Half Marathon in Latvia.
On Thursday, Deutsch sat down with the Miami Herald to describe what life is like as an Orthodox professional racer.
“In Israel, there are a lot of stereotypes about religious Jews and people have misconceptions about what we are able to do and how oppressed we are. I have been able to break down some of those barriers,” she said.
According to Deutsch, being different is not always accepted in an Orthodox Jewish community, but she is slowly changing the perception by proving that she can still achieve her goals without sacrificing her beliefs.
“Mine is definitely an unconventional path to take, but I saw marathon running as an opportunity to show that you can be 100 percent totally committed to your faith and your relationship with God but still pursue athletics at the highest level,” she said.
Deutsch is advocating to change the date of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics women’s marathon because it is scheduled to take place on the Sabbath.