Sunday, March 22, 2009

Marathon Man

Wow! What a day! The marathon was totally awesome! We left Yokota at 6:15a, driving to Roppongi to meet up with the running club from the base, M was going to ride the train into Shibuya with them, since many of them are old pros at the T-Town marathon. Our cheering squad included M's wife H, his cousin S and our friend C.

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Some of the Yokota Striders running club.

M is kneeling on the far right.

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We got to Roppongi in record time, arriving at exactly 7:15. We parked the van at the Hardy Barracks (a tiny Navy outpost in Roppongi) and jumped on the subway at Nogizaka. I spent most of the night with a pile of maps and good ol' Google Earth, figuring out which places would give us the best vantage points and which trains to take in which direction.

Our first stop was going to be the 10k mark at the intersection at Hibiya Park and the Imperial Palace. We got there a few minutes after 8:00 and headed to McD's for some oh-so-yummy b'fast and made it to the intersection in plenty of time to see the first wheel chair racers and runners. M hit the 10k point at 46 min.

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Runner's computer chip.

This is how the runners' times and locations were tracked.

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The first pack of wheelchair racers

The front runners at 10k.

In the lead is Kenyan Salim Kipsang, who won the marathon in an astounding 2hr 10 min!

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Japanese runners love to dress up in crazy costumes when they race, and today was no exception! There were tons of very colorful characters! (Lots of...........penial (?) costumes) Most of the really funny ones were way in the back, so we never saw them because M stayed in the first 1/4 of the pack for the entire race.

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This guy wasn't racing, he was on the sidelines next to us. When we walked up, he pointed at his hat and emphatically declared: "This is T-rex, not Godzilla!" Um, okay dude.

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From Hibiya, we walked about 4 blocks to Ginza 4 Chome, and up Ginza Dori, saw M pass in both directions, then headed to Ginza Itchome station.

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Runners on Ginza Dori, on the left, runners heading towards the turn around in Asakusa, runners on the right have already turned around nearing the 34k mark.

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M at 34k

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We got off at Toyosu to switch to the Yurikamome line, but M had already passed this point, so we watched for a few minutes, then headed for Ariake and Tokyo Big Sight, to the finish line.

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Italic

A giant saw stuck in the ground at Tokyo Big Sight

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All marathon finishers received a medal
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M finished the marathon in a blazing 3 hr 33 min!!!! Way to go Marathon Man! We're so proud of you! He really felt like crap immediately afterwards, he was in a lot of pain, nauseous and completely exhausted both mentally and physically, he was nearly in tears, cursing himself for doing something so stupid, swearing he'd never run another race. But 2 hrs later, after a beer and a sandwich, he was telling us about all the mistakes he'd made that he'll be sure not to make next year!

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We had an awesome time! I've decided to run the 10k portion of the marathon next year! But tonight my feet are so sore, I feel as if I ran the marathon myself!

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2 comments:

gigihawaii said...

Marathons are too stressful for me. I prefer to walk, but even 10K of walking would be too much. Gotta give kudos to those who train and actually finish a full marathon. Wow!

Slime said...

You certainly live in a place that's condusive to long, beautiful walks! I've always felt the same way about walking! But in the last few months, I've decided I desperately need to get healthy, and part of that is becoming much more active. Walking and biking are my best options b/c my schedule just doesn't allow for set excercise class times, and I'm completely useless on gym equipment. Yesterday was so much fun, it really got me excited about getting in shape! And what a great memory, to say I'd run in the Tokyo Marathon!