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Every good thing must come to an end. Even this series. We have arrived at the 10th article, and not without some stress and labored breathing. This series attempted to impart a few fundamentals, offer some tips and build a training program that enables you to improve your physical fitness, make a regular habit of your hobby and mainly, to enjoy it. And perhaps you will take part in your first marathon and even finish it. If you do complete a run of 42 kilometers and 195 meters, I have no doubt you will get the sensation of having done well more than what you thought you were capable of doing, and it will be one of the more emotional experiences of your life. All that is left is for me is to emphasize and sharpen up a few points I have already mentioned in one form or another.

The most important thing is to make running your pastime, part of your regular routine, part of a lifestyle. Think of running like brushing your teeth every morning: You never doubt the need to do so, even when you don't feel like doing it. You can run in the morning, you can run in the evening or in the afternoon (in the winter), but you should run several times a week, according to the schedule you have chosen.

Consistency and determination are the most important tools at your disposal. I have been running for 12 years in nearly every possible weather condition: in the winter, in the rain (a remarkable experience I recommend trying). When I travel abroad, I run. Last week I ran in Warsaw along the banks of the Vistula. Just throw a pair of running shoes and some training clothes into your suitcase. After running, you can rinse the clothes out in the sink and hang them to dry for a day in the hotel room.

Nearly every city has a river or park where you can run, although you can also just take to the streets. Getting to know a city this way, as it wakes up in the early morning, with its unique smells, is an exhilarating experience. All you have to do is get yourself a map and check with the hotel desk where it is safe to run. In my experience, it works. I've already run in Moscow in the 20 degree below zero cold; in Baku, Azerbaijan; and I even found the courage to run in Johannesburg, a merciless city where crime is evidently a lifestyle. Not to mention the unadulterated pleasure of running in safe cities in Europe and the United States.

Farewells are usually sad. But it doesn't have to be here. On the contrary, yours truly proposes a farewell party for his running readers. To be more precise, a farewell run. The running party will be held next Monday, September 18. We will meet next to the bridge that spans the mouth of the Yarkon in Tel Aviv, along the southern bank. It will be an easy, spontaneous (organized, of course), slow-paced run, open to all and only a few kilometers long. I'd be very happy if readers who plan to come would let me know by e-mail within the next two days: ymelman@haaretz.co.il. You'll recognize me from the very accurate illustrations Amos Biderman has been sketching for this column over the past two and a half months.

And in the future, anyone who is in need of advice, guidance or a word of encouragement can drop me a line. I will try to help as best as I can.