The 22nd Sakura Marathon Race
Date : Sunday March 2, 2003 Weather : Cloudy, then fine
Location : Sakura City, Chiba Prefecture
Impression & Record
- I had been suffering from a cold since early in January and thus I was compelled to give up
three marathon races during the period. This was the race of more than 3 months interval.
- I left home at 6:30 AM and arrived in Keisei Sakura station around 8:20 AM.
A lot of runners were waiting for free shuttle bus in front of the station.
- I joined my two running mates at the reception area.
- I could not have enough training before the race and thus my target of this race was to finish the race anyhow.
- Just before the start, I was standing at almost the end of the runners' line.
- This was my second participation to the race. I can still remember that it was freezing last year.
The weatherman said it would be fine and very windy. The expected maximum temperature was 13 degrees Centigrade.
- The race started at 10:00 AM. I started slowly. As forecasted, it was cloudy first, but shortly fine and windy.
- It became more and more windy. I believe every runner was afflicted by
strong wind during the race, especially when running in the rice field.
- It was hard to run against the head wind since the running speed drastically slowed down.
I felt double fatigue while running against the wind.
- This is my first experience in running under such a strong wind.
When passing the bridge across the Imbanuma-Lake, I was almost blown away by strong wind!!
- There were a few distance displays on the course. All I could find were indications at both middle-point
(My passing time : 2 hours 07 minutes) and
33 km point where runners had to pass within 4 hours 30 minutres.
(My passing time : 3 hours 11 minutes) If there is no distance displays, runner may run without minding the distance to the goal.
- Finally, I felt tired around 38 km point. Also I felt relieved that I might complete the race
shortly and started to walk. Once I walked, I lost my energy to run.
I might finish the race within 4 hours if I continued to run even at slower pace.
- Since then, I repeated walk and run. When I reached Keisei Sakura station, where the upward road started, I again started to walk
without hesitation. Almost all runners were also walking.
- My goal time was 4 hours 20 minutes 43 seconds. I was satisfied with the result although I felt guilty a little bit
- Anyway, I suffered from strong wind. The only good thing was that it was not cold.
If the temperature was the same as that of last year, I might not complete the race.
- After the race, we had a drink party as usual at the Chinese restaurant. We drank enough beer and Japanese sake.
- Ms. Naoko Takahashi, goldmedalist of Sydney Olympics, joined us at the start of the race.
She saw runners off at Keisei Sakura station. I could touch her hand while passing nearby her.
I felt encouraged by her.
- When going home, we met young lady runner who got 3rd prize at the race in the train.
(She had a big box containing prize cup.) She was to go back to Shinjuku station. Thus I could chat with her until I arrived in
Ikebukuro station. She said she would try to win at Arakawa marathon race
to be held late in this month. She will also join the ultra marathon races
such as Fujigoko, Shimanamikaido.
- I came back to home around 20:00. I had a good time since I could run and drink
with my friends after a long interval.