At the 11-mile mark, Rabbi Alan Kalinsky exults: Only 2.1 miles to go!
At the finish line, Rabbi Alan and Sandy Kalinsky look fresh as a daisy and ready for more challenges.
Taking long walks on Shabbat through Beverly Hills bore fruit on Sunday in Miami as Rabbi Alan Kalinsky, Director of the Orthodox Union West Coast Region, competed in the ING Half Marathon as a member of Team Yachad, finishing the 13.1 miles in three hours and 20 minutes, through a combination of walking and jogging.
Rabbi Kalinsky and his wife, Sandy, competed as Team Kalinsky, a component of Team Yachad, which entered more than 180 runners from around the United States and Canada to raise funds for Yachad | Jewish Disabilities Integration, the OU’s agency for individuals with learning and developmental disabilities.
In addition to his OU responsibilities, Rabbi Kalinsky spent more than five years as Rabbi of the Young Israel of North Beverly Hills. The round-trip walk to the shul from his home in Pico-Robertson is approximately five miles; sometimes he did it twice on a Shabbat, in order to give an afternoon shiur. Of course, on the holidays, he had to do the walk on back-to-back days, or sometimes three days in a row. While leading the congregation he built the strength and endurance to enter the race.
Sandy Kalinsky, meanwhile, “does aerobics regularly and was really fit for the event,” Rabbi Kalinsky said. The two Kalinsky’s competed together, finishing in the same time and qualifying for a medal.
Each Team Yachad participant was called on to raise $3,000 for Yachad; Team Kalinsky exceeded its goal.
Yachad has had a chapter in Los Angeles for many years, Rabbi Kalinsky reports, “but this year there was a fulltime Director, Ian Lurie, based in the regional office, so there is greater visibility of Yachad. When we met in early September with Ian who tried to get LA people to commit to the marathon, I made resolve to do the race and to raise the funds.”
Ian and his wife Sharona competed in the race as well, as Team Lurie, with Ian’s sister working at the Yachad water station. In all, there were 20 runners as part of Team LA, the largest delegation outside of New York. The fundraising by Team LA was very successful, Ian reports. Next year, he is looking to double the turnout.
Meanwhile, the Kalinsky’s arrived in Miami a few days before the race and engaged in “some serious training, jogging and walking more than 30 miles.” They also participated in the Team Yachad Shabbat, which Rabbi Kalinsky called “an uplifting Shabbos experience.”
Following his return to Los Angeles Tuesday, Rabbi Kalinsky will prepare to go to Denver to be a Scholar-in-Residence this weekend at OU member East Denver Orthodox Synagogue. Perhaps he will consider competing in the kind of race appropriate for the Rockies in February – the slalom.
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