Niigata City Marathon Race (The 31st)
Date: Sunday, October 13, 2013 Weather: Cloudy then fine
Location: Niigata City
Details of RaceRefer to the 25th Niigata Marathob Race
|5 km||30 minutes|
|10 km||58 minutes|
|15 km||1 hour 27 minutes|
|20 km||1 hour 56 minutes|
|Middle point||2 hours 03 minutes|
|25 km||2 hours 27 minutes|
|30 km||2 hours 59 minutes|
|35 km||3 hours 33 minutes|
|40 km||4 hours 11 minutes|
|Finish||4 hours 26 minutes|
- Saturday, October 12 Weather: Fine then rainy
- I took on the highway bus bound for Niigata at 7:20 AM from Nerima Station.
The bus seats were 3 rows. My seat was left side and I could enjoy seeing
scenery from the window on fine day.
- However, since it was the first day of three consecutive holidays, the highway was so crowded and the traffic was jammed.
It took much time to get out from Saitama Prefecture.
It was hot outside when we took a break at parking area.
- When we got through Kanetsu tunnel, it was cloudy and soon rainy. I was surprised at the sudden
change of weather.
- After all, the bus reached Niigata Station one hour behind the schedule.
The rain stopped and it was cool in Niigata city.
- I deposited my luggage at hotel and took on the shuttle bus to marathon site for registration.
- I came back to the hotel after registration by bus and checked in the hotel.
- I went to bed earlier for tomorrow's race.
- Sunday, October 13 Weather: Cloudy then fine
- I got up at 5:00 AM. It was cloudy.
- I had to get out of hotel at 6:30 since the final shuttle bus from the station to the marathon site
would leave at 7:00 AM.
- The bus left the station at 6:40 and reached the site around 7:00 AM. A lot of runners were already there.
- It was getting sunny when I arrived in the site.
- The opening ceremony started at sports stadium around 8:00 AM. The guest runner was Ms. Naoko Takahashi, a gold medalist at Sydney Olympic, the same as that of last year.
13,000 runners joined this year. She announced that she would exchange a high-five with 95% of all runners!
- After the ceremony, runners moved to the start line prepared outside of the stadium.
- At 8:30, runners of 10 km, half and full races started all together.
- The start line was spacious, but was crowded with runners owing to simultaneous start.
My loss time was one minute.
- Immedeately after the start, my right ankle started to become painful again.
I was frightened for a moment, but the pain disappeared while running. Thus I was relieved.
- It was fine when starting. The temparature was over 20 degrees Centigrade.
It was a little bit hot for marathon race.
- The crowded condition continued to around 14 km point where half marathon race runner
- When the course was alongside the Japan Sea from Shinano River course,
strong and cool head-on sea wind was blowing.
- Large white waves were rolling on the sand beach.
- I could enjoy very clear panoramic view of Sado Island far away on the Japan Sea. I thought
I should visit the island next year after the race.
- I crossed the top group of runners who came back from the first turn-around point.
As was to be expected, they ran so fast!
- The straight and gradual up-and-down course continued to the turn-around point of 20.4 km.
- From the Shinkawa Large Bridge located very close to the turn-around point,
I could enjoy a splendid view that large white waves were rolling on continuously to spaceous
- After the turn-around point, it was easy to run with a tail wind.
- It was hotter than expected and I was frequently thirsty. I drank much water at each water supply point.
- I managed to pass both 25 km and 30 km points.
However, my running pace gradually slowed down. I felt so far from 30 km point to 35 km one.
- From 35 km point, my runnning speed further slowed down owing to hot weather.
Many runners started to walk.
- Next water supply point from 31 km was set at 36.4 km.
It took much time for me to reach there and I was almost dying of thirst.
- Finally I arrived in the point 5 km to the finish. I decided not to rush and ran with my own running pace.
- 40 km point was also far away. I drank much water at final water supply point (40.3 km) and
continued to run to the finish. The cheers from the spectators along the course encouraged me.
- When entering into the athletic stadium, I saw Ms. Naoko Takahashi exchanging a high-five with
every runner just before the finish. Of course, I exchanged a high-five. Could she exchange a high-
five with 12,350 runners as she announced before start?
- Finish time was 4 hours 26 minutes. It was hot and I was tired.
- I rested at the stand of sports stadium until the last runners (time limit: 5 hours) arrived in the stadium.
- Then I took on the shuttle bus to return to Niigata Station. I was relived
after I took shower at hotel.
- Monday, October 14 Weather: Fine
- It was fine in the morning. I checked out the hotel at 8:20 AM.
- I took on the local train to be left at Niigata Station at 8:52 bound for Murakami.
The train was almost empty. I thought JR would be red ink!
- I changed the train at Murakami. The local train bound for Sakata left after 30-minute waiting.
The train was also almost empty.
- Anyway, I could enjoy a local train journey to Sakata.
- The train ran alongside the Japan Sea from Murakami to Tsuruoka. I could enjoy the oceanfront views.
I could see Awashima Island far away.
- When approaching Tsuruoka, I could see a high mountain with snow. First, I thought it was Mt. Gassan.
However, one senior high school student shouted "Mt. Chokaizan is covered with snow!." So I found it was Mt. Chokaizan.
- I climbed Mt. Chokaizan almost 40 years ago! It's a long-forgotten mountain!
It's nice to see it again very clearly from the train!
- As scheduled, the train arrived in Sakata Station at 12:48.
- My main purpose to come to Sakata City was to visit "Domon Ken Memorial Hall".
I asked how to go there at tourist information center in the station.
The staff answered that cyclic bus was available. However, to my regret, the bus just left at 12:50!
I had to wait until 14:10 for next bus. Alas!
- Then I decided to visit famous Japanese cake shop in Sakata for souvenir on foot with a map in hand.
It was fine and hot. I started to sweat. I managed to find out the shop.
I bought a sweet bean jelly and buns stuffed with adzuki-bean paste.
- I returned to the station and waited for the bus.
- A cyclic bus was a mini-bus. The flat fee was Yen 100.
It took almost 20 minutes. The building of "Domon Ken Memorial Hall" was modern and wonderful
located near the sea.
- The entry fee was Yen 420.
- Ken Domon was a famous photograher from Sakata City. One of his masterpieces was "Pilgrimage of Old Temples".
To my joy, many photos of "Pilgrimage of Old Temples" were exhibited at the main hall.
- There were a few visitors and I could enjoy watching big panels of photos of
Buddha statues, temples, etc.
- The next bus to the station would leave at 17:11. However, I could not wait until then, so I decided to walk to the station.
- I crossed a large bridge on Mogami River on foot. It took much time.
In front, I could see Mt. Chokaizan far away on the downtown of Sakata City.
- On the opposite side, I could see the sunset on the surface of Mogami River.
- After crossing the bridge, I visited old rice warehouse named "Yamakyu", which was build
in Meiji era. A lot of tourists were there.
- Soon I felt hungry and I dropped in one of famous ramen shops in Sakata named "Mangetsu".
I ordered a won-ton. The soup was simple and bland. I was satisfied with it.
- I came back to the station at 18:00. It was already dark. The bus bound for Tokyo would leave at 21:45.
I had a plenty of time. I was wondering what to do. The choice was Japanese pub or Karaoke!
- I selected Japanese pub. I enjoyed drinking locally brewed Japanese sake there.
- Contrary to my expectation, there were lots of passengers at bus terminal. Two buses to Tokyo
- The bus arrived in Ikebukuro Station at 5:45 next morning. I could not sleep well in the bus.
Domon Ken Memorial Hall
- ditto -