Finish time: 11hr 19
Dist Time Split Lap
Start 05:01:02 00:01:02
10k 05:46:32 00:46:32 00:45:30
20k 06:33:18 01:33:18 00:46:46
30k 07:21:08 02:21:08 00:47:50
40k 08:12:29 03:12:29 00:51:21
50k 09:14:41 04:14:41 01:02:12
60k 10:35:02 05:35:02 01:20:21
70k 12:01:15 07:01:15 01:26:13 ...もっと見る
80k 13:26:49 08:26:49 01:25:34
90k 14:50:56 09:50:56 01:24:07
Finish 16:19:21 11:19:21 01:28:25
We arrived at the registration at about 3pm after driving ~5hrs from Tomikawa in Hidaka. This was my first time to visit Kitami. The temperature was cooler than expected. Registration was quick – just one bag with chip, race number, race info etc and T-shirt to pick up and plenty of staff to help. There were booths with sportswear on sale including Asics gel-saroma running shoes. The corridors and hall walls were filled with messages for runners – mostly encouragement notices.
I didn’t know the status re camping near the start line so was surprised and happy to see so many tents in the immediate vicinity. There are many good grassy areas, some benches and trees, so the area is ideal for camping. If you arrive early you can find some great spots to pitch a tent and park a few meters away. Even if you arrive just before dark, you can still find pretty good spots. A man slept in a hammock type tent near to us – it’s the first time I have seen such a tent.
About 50 temporary toilets were set up nearby as well as the public toilets, so apart from the toilet rush between 4~5am, even with the huge numbers of campers there is no queue. Unfortunately during the toilet rush, you may need to wait as long as 25mins for an o-ben.
We arrived a little late for the zen-yasai, but still got our fill. You can go inside if you have an entry ticket (given to participants) where there is a buffet of food/drink on many tables, or queue outside for the yakisoba and crab soup. As I was with my wife and son (who had no ticket), we queued outside for yakisoba and soup (2 separate queues), and when we were finished those, the ceremony inside seemed to be over so we were able to go inside and find some food. Most of the food was gone but near the front there were some tables for invited guests where there was still some spaghetti, rice and other food and plenty of drinks. I was surprised to see hundreds of empty and half empty bottles of beer on the tables. I didn’t expect so many marathon runners to be drinking at all!
My wife and son went for an onsen nearby while I finished some preparations. The onsen was not crowded.
From about 15:30~18:30, parking close to the reception area is difficult, but after the ceremony finished, there were some good empty spaces. There were some restrictions on traffic on the race day, but in general the roads were open and my wife was able to drive to the goal, and stop along the way a few times to support.
For the huge crowds camping there was not so much noise. There was some music being played but it stopped at ~19:30 and it was pretty quiet after that until the morning. It was bright @3am, and many runners were up that early getting prepared, so by 3:30am it was a little noisy. From ~4:15am there were loud speaker announcements making it difficult for my wife and son to sleep.
I did most of my prep and headed for an o-ben @ ~4:15. I didn’t expect to queue for so long and didn’t get a toilet until ~4:40, so was a bit rushed to finish my prep. An extra few mins just before the race would have been helpful and I ended up not being fully prepared. If I had known it would take so long to queue for a toilet, I would have cycled to another location as I had a bicycle in my car.
I joined the race queue just 2 mins before the start and managed to squeeze in close to runners who crossed the start @ ~1min after the top. The temperature was just perfect for running at this time, and I was hoping it would stay cloudy until the race end.
I wore light runners with little cushioning and support for the first 55km and then switched to a heavier pair with good cushioning and support (Asics gel-saroma 2010). On top I wore a cycling jersey, so I could carry some light items in the back pockets – the main items were some tissues, spare band-aid and spare money. I used light arm warmers for warmth and also to carry my mobile phone on my arm. I also used an arm band to support the phone if needed and to wipe sweat. I have an Xperia Arc, so my wife could track me from another smartphone by using Google Maps. I set up the sharing beforehand and just needed to switch on GPS. I would have liked to use endomondo to track my run as well but then the batteries would not have lasted, so I didn’t use it. Below, I wore light running shorts over spandex shorts. I also wore a light hand towel around my neck which helped with sun blocking.
The first 40km was smooth and I reached the marathon mark in 3hr24, which is a record time for me. Actually, I have only ever run one marathon before – the first Tokyo marathon in wet and cold conditions, but I have done some long trail runs including Hasegawa cup (71.5km over mountains).
My front thighs were quite stiff from ~50km so my stride shortened and I slowed down as I maintained a similar rhythm. The balls of my feet started complaining due to the thin cushioning on my runners so I was looking forward to changing runners at 55km. I was also planning on taking a decent rest @55km.
At 55km, I didn’t stop for as long as I had planned – I got a chair and sat down to eat, drink, change runners, and put on extra sun cream. I felt quite strong although my legs were quite stiff. I probably rested for ~7min before heading off again.
The gel-saroma runners felt heavy after running in the light ones, but my feet felt more comfortable which was reassuring. I settled in to my new slow pace and was constantly being passed out by faster runners. Only occasionally, would I pass someone who was walking or stopped. I wasn’t too concerned yet as I had plenty of time to finish. I was drinking plenty of fluids at each stop. After 60km, the km’s felt longer and longer. I walked now and then for 50~100m but not more than once per km and sometimes I would run 3 or 4km before walking for a while. Every km was marked with a post and there were signs to show rest areas 500m in advance. These were very helpful as I could muster up enough strength to run this 500m knowing I would be stopping there.
From 60km to 70km was probably the toughest section. There was no shade and a blue sky and my legs were beginning to tire. At ~70km the 50km runners joined our route and offered some encouragement. From 75km, the km’s began to feel normal again. After 80km we ran in the shade of trees for a while which helped a lot, and at 90km, I knew I could make it even if I walked the whole way and found the going fairly easy from there, although my pace had slowed down a little from further stiffness.
The support along the route was fantastic. There were so many people cheering us on – some people had set up stalls in front of their houses and gave free food and water for runners. All of the aid stations were well organized and well-staffed. Friendly staff cheered us on and made sure all of the food and drink was readily available. The choice of food/drink was also very good and at least twice there was even special Amino sports gel available.
At most of the aid stations I drank both amino sports drink and water and ate both ume-boshi and a piece of banana. I also took 2 or 3 pieces of lemon to eat over the next 2 kms or so. At 2 stations I took some chocolate and put it in my pocket and ate it after ~3 kms. And at 80km I took the special Amino sports gel and drank it @~83km. I had no problems with lack of energy or eating too much. I did feel like I needed to take an o-ben a few times but when I tried I just blew wind. As it turned out I didn’t take an o-ben until the following day, but I did need to do a sho-ben 3 times during the race and a few times after as well.
It was nice to pass so many runners going the opposite way along the 80~93km stretch, especially after passing the orikaeshi mark, knowing you are ahead of all the runners going the other way. I spotted at least 20 runners who I had run close to for a while and mostly was able to acknowledge them and give/receive encouragement. At about the 93km mark the sweeper car passed and I felt sorry for anybody who got caught out by time. For me I was already semi-celebrating and the end felt near now.
Close to the goal I was looking out for my wife and son, but failed to spot them. Then my son ran up from behind and we ran together for the last 100m or so. I got my medal and a towel and a drink of water before looking around for a place to sit in the shade. After sitting for a few mins my legs were now extremely stiff and using stairs was sore. I know I could not have run much farther and 100km is definitely my limit for running.
We left before the race finished at about 17:20 as we had a long drive back to Tomikawa in Hidaka and I was working the next day. I had no problems driving as only my upper legs were stiff and I was not tired. I am happy that I entered this race and delighted to have finished it.
Overall impression: Very well organised and fantastic support. JPY 10,000 entry fee is a bargain when you consider all the food/drink consumed even without the cool T-shirt.
[ 2011年6月27日 16:07 ]
Northern Horse Park Marathon 2011 Report.
Result: Trail run (7km) 28:35 (21); Half marathon 1:33:36 (65); Total: 2:02:11 (14).
There was no need to register as participants received the race number sheet and electronic chip by post. It was easy to find the main parking with staff guiding the way. The start line was ~250m from the car. I arrived at 8:15am. There was plenty of free food available then: 5 or 6 types of onigiri, bread rolls, salad, ton-jiru, soup curry, bananas. In the afternoon I also saw yakisoba, pumpkin pie and more. I could get food for my wife and kid as well (who just came as spectators). Food was available all throughout the day both inside and outside although there were 5min queues after 1pm. ...もっと見る
It was chilly to stand outside in the morning unless you were shaded from the wind. In the afternoon it was sunny and not so cold.
There was an exercise routine (stretching) organised but I didn't bother with that as I was busy enough changing, getting food (not for me as I didn't eat at all before the 7km run), warming up by running and going to the toilet. The queues were not bad for men's toilet - no queue for sho-ben and 1 or 2 mins for o-ben if any. 4km. Participants lined up near the start based on expected finish times. for the trail run I had no problem to line up in the 25~35min section even though I didn't go there until ~5 mins before the start. The first section was 20~25 and there were only 20 or 30 runners there. A rider on horse led the way at the start anyway and maybe for the whole race. The course was well marked with cones and there were plenty of staff also showing the way and cheering. We ran on dirt road, grass, soft earth and loose chippings. The ground was dry apart from a few shallow pools of water which you could easily avoid. The toughest section was the climb inside a kind of tunnel on loose chippings for about 500m up to the halfway mark. There were drinks at the 4km mark but unneeded for most runners in my category but it did help in knowing the distance as it felt longer than 4km. Apart from that there were no markers so it was not easy to know how much distance was left. The half marathon had markers which was helpful. After finishing I got a hot towel, a small bottle of water, 0% alcohol beer and a T-shirt. My wife came over with my bag of clothes, so I put on a few extra layers of clothing immediately. Then we headed inside for some food.
Again there was an exercise routine which I skipped. Toilets were a bit busier than earlier but I managed to get into an o-ben in ~3min only to confirm that I didn't need to after all. I joined the start line-up with about 4 mins to go and got up pretty close to the front again. This time there were about 80 runners ahead of me. It seems that my result was based on when I crossed the start line and not on the clock which is good (although it only made an 8 second difference for me). By coincidence I had lined up next to a fellow gaijin and good friend, Nathan, so we chatted a bit before the start. As it turns out Nathan is at a very similar level to me over this distance but hadn't run the 7km race so was a bit stronger. There was a tail wind for the first 7 or 8km and I started well before I turned into the wind and slowed down considerably. Nathan caught me at ~9.5 and I stuck with him for a few hundred meters, passing the 10km together at 41:57 (results available at http://update.runnet.jp/2011nhpm/index.html). But I run in waves and couldn't keep up with him when I was on a low phase and ended up on my own for a long stretch. There was sports drink at 13km(??) and 16km with plenty of staff handing you drinks so you didn't have to stop to drink, unless you want the whole cup load (or are highly skilled at grabbing a cup without spilling any contents while running). I manage OK with just a little so got enough without stopping. The wind was very persistent - quite helpful when tail wind and rather annoying when a head wind. There were markings on the road at every km and after 10km I noticed posts with the same km markings a bit farther on than the road markings. I guess the posts were the accurate ones, but it didn't matter much as they were close enough anyway. With ~3km to go, I felt quite strong again so was able to pick up the pace and even pass by a few runners. I even managed a sprint to the goal line. I'm pleased with the result especially as I felt like I could run some more, so should be OK for Toya next week.
It was worth JPY 10,000 to me as the location is not so far so is convenient and the buffet was worth a lot, especially as I brought my family, and I also got 2 T-shirts (one for each race). There were some events for kids including tog-of-war and a guy performing with balloons.
[ 2011年5月16日 16:44 ]