Sunday, November 15, 2009
There seems to be no shortage of endurance races on Sado. Over the past 2 weekends,I've taken part in 2 ekidens; distance relay events of varying distances normally composed of 5 or 6 man teams. I was able to run the All Sado and the Boka Ekiden. Ekidens are held all over Japan and Sado has several itself. The Sado Ekiden drew 24 5 man teams. The distances for each of the 5 legs were: 6k, 10k, 8k, 8k, and 10k. I ran the second leg with the Sado Triathlon Club A team. I was able to post a decent time of 36 minutes but the real show was the high school senior and the 51 year old triathlon champion that ran the 10k in 32 minutes. Amazing show!
The Boka Ekiden, sponsored by the Firefighters of Southern Sado, was held last Sunday. In a bit of meteorological irony it rained throughout, so the brave men in the red trucks had little chance of being called back to work. I only had to run 4k this time as this was more of a “sprint ekiden”. Since the course was very close to my home town of Hamochi, a few people on the sides cheered for me by name! Never expected that would happen in Japan. I thankfully did not hear anyone cheer "Go Whitey!" My team finished 2nd overall and we each got a 6-pack of beer for our prize. Don't worry, the high school team got sports drinks and coffee. I’m sad to see this racing season go but I’m sure the rest will be easy to get used to. (The picture is one of my friend Ito passing the relay band off for our team)