Monday, October 19, 2009

My International Running Debut

Last Saturday I took part in the Kawaharada Seaside Marathon. For clarification, all running competitions in Japan are called “marathon” (pronounced Ma Ra So N), and this “marathon” was actually a 6 kilometer race. The majority of the competitors were actually kids from my Jr High Track team. Several of the men with numbers signifying them as “Male Open” competitors looked like they had been around a race before, so I did not know what to expect.
The course was beautiful; the majority of the race was right by the ocean. I was in close second to a man who I had met briefly though the Jr High track coach for the majority of the race. He had a 10k personal record 2 min faster than mine so I knew I’d have to be careful. We kept it easy for most of the race, but with 1 kilometer to go we started testing each other. Over the last 200 meters or so I made my move and took advantage of being the tallest guy in the race by taking my stride out. I finished in 23.34. I later found out that several of the open male competitors will be members of my distance relay team next month. My win made me the fastest member of our team, and I thus inherited the longest portion of the upcoming relay. I received a really nice Nike running bag for my winnings. Great gift! What did I take away from all this you might ask? I learned that victory tastes sweet even when you eat it with chopsticks.

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