The 20th Kibi-District Marathon Races
Souja-city, Okayama Prefecture
Sunday February 27, 2000
|Full||2000(Started at 9:30)|
|10km||1700(Started at 9:50)|
|Family||2400(Started at 10:10)|
Towel given as gift
Records and Impression
- I had been thinking that I would join the Kibi-District Marathon Races held very close to my birthplace.
- I finally decided to join the race. And I asked my running mates to join me. Fortunately, three mates agreed to join. However, one mate had to cancel the registration immediately before the race owing to his injury during his training. Therefore, three members including me would join the race.
- I took day-off on Friday to return to my parent's home.
- The Super-Express from Tokyo station was fully occupied by business men on weekday. The JR Toukai must be profitable!
- It was fine on Friday and thus I could see clearly wonderful Mt. Fuji from the Super Express. It was marvelous to see Mt. Fuji with Japanese Sake cup on hand!
Mt. Fuji from Super-Express
Taken on Feb. 25, 2000
- More than half passengers took off at Shin-Osaka station although the train was bound for Hiroshima, Western part of Honshu Island. Moreover, almost all passengers took off at Okayama station. I supposed that JR Nishi-Nihon must be in the red.
- On Saturday evening, my friends gathered at my parent's house. We had a nice eve with grand dinner party! We had a lot of alcohol and drunk although we would join the marathon race next day! (One friend was completely hangover next morning. However, he could complete the full marathon race, which was almost unbelievable for me.)
- It is my policy not to drink on the day before the marathon race. However, this time, I finally broke the rule!
- Anyway, on the marathon race day, we left the home at 7:30. We tried to get on the train bound for Souja which would start at 7:53 from Niwase station, the closest JR station. However, somehow, the train would not arrive. We checked the time table at the station and found that the train was day-off on the holiday! The time table book I had checked previously did not say anything about it!
- We were momentarily at a loss and hurried to get on the next train to Kurashiki station, which was on the way to Souja station. We checked the bus for Soja at Kurasiki station, but no bus was available. We also thought about taking a taxi to Souja, but it was so far and gave up it.
- We were forced to take the next train to Souja from Kurashiki station. This is my only mistake during the journey.
- Unexpectedly, it was almost 9:00 when we arrived in Souja station. We rushed to the reception site since the registration for full marathon was to be closed at 9:00. It took much time to arrive there on foot than expected.
- My two friends participated full marathon and thus they did not have enough time to prepare. Anyway, they managed to join at 9:00.
- The start time of 20km race was 9:50 and I had enough time to prepare.
- It was fine and calm in the morning. However, little by little, the weather became wintry. The cold wind started to blow. The temperature was freezing!
- We put our baggage near the reception and changed our wears in the coldness. We found that the gymnasium was available for the participants afterwards. We did not have a time to find out this time.
- The runners of 20km gathered at 9:40. A lot of local young men joined this race. They were friendly and chatting each other before start and they were relaxing. I thought they were enjoying the race. Many junior high school students also joined.
- The race started at 9:50. Four-lined road was open to the runners from the starting line. The road became two-line shortly. Then the road would be the narrow Kibi-District cycling road.
- The cycling road is only 3m width and thus it was so crowded with many runners to the 5km point. It was impossible to pass during these course.
- Then you can see marvelous five-storied pagoda of the state-established provincial temples in the era of Shomu Emperor in 8th century.
- I was surprised that a lot of amateure camera men were taking photos around the temple. I believe their objects were temple and runners.
- The course from the temple was very familiar with me since I always jog there when I come back to my home country.
- After passing the temple, the runners could run with enough space.
- It was back-wind in the front half and it was easy to run.
- When the runners run alongside the Ashimori River, the course would be the the latter half. It was head-wind. The wind was very cold and it was very hard to run. I did not sweat under the cold temperature.
- The course would be broad road in the rice field. The wind became stronger with sleet sometimes and my running pace slowed down. I almost could not stand the coldness even I was running.
- The last 5km was the road to the JR Souja station. The road was broad, however, the runners could run only the end of the left side. It was not good for running.
- The goal time was 1 hour 48 minutes 47 seconds! I was satisfied with the result since I had to run against strong head wind. The course was almost very flat.
- This race was very local. However, it was great to gather more than 5000 runners. The number of runners increases year by year. I could feel the zeal of the promotor (Souja City).
- The 20km race is hard for me to run. However, I can forget hardness
immediately after the goal. I think there is a big difference of the extent of exhaustion between 20km race and full marathon race. I feel that it is more worth running for full marathon race.
- I started thinking that I would participate more full marthon races
comparing Wakashio full marathon race and Kibi-District 20-km race.
- The water supply point was set every 5km. Sports drink and water were available.
- Immediately after the goal, the certifiacte was issued. Accordinmg to this, weather: fine, temperature: 4.9 degree (C)! Humidity: 65.1%, the wind speed: 8m! I understood the reason why it was cold and hard to run!
- I was glad that a local junior student girl gave me her hand-made chocolate and cookie!
- Free hot drinks such as red-bean soup with rice cake (SHIRUKO), miso soup with poke (BUTAJIRU), sweet drink made from fermented rice (AMAZAKE)and Japanese tea (OCHA) were available after the race. I drank AMAZAKE. It was good for cold body. I wanted to eat SHIRUKO also. However, it was so crowded and thus I forced to give it up.
- The gifts were towel, 5 egg plants, dried rice cake, Japanese pickles and sightseeing brochures. I hated egg plants as gift since they were heavy and bulky althoug I ate them deliciously after I came home.
- I waited two running mates until they finished full marathon race. It was so cold that I drank a canned beer and aJapanese Sake cup while waiting. But my body did not warm up!
- Then, we went to Okayama station by JR line. We got on the Super Express 'HIKARI' bound for Tokyo at 15:36. We had a party again in the train with beer and Japanese Sake. We continued to drink during the journey!
- When I came home, It was 21:00. I got very tired and drunk!