Sunday, January 22, 2012

Rainy run

Jules is away this weekend so I thought I should find something fun to do. However, I entered the 10k race at the Chiba Marine Marathon instead. "Marathon" in Japanese just means a long run, and as well as the 10k there was a half marathon, but there was actually not a full-length one at all. After what seems like weeks of wall-to-wall sunshine, the weekend turned drizzly and cold, so it wasn't quite as much fun as I'd hoped.

The facilities were pretty rubbish - in contrast to the Shonan event where they had set up tents, we were randomly packed into in the grimy alleys and stairways of a baseball stadium, and there was nowhere remotely secure to leave baggage. Not that this really matters in Japan. They had also not bothered to rent any portaloos and the existing toilets were inadequate for the numbers. Then there was a nasty and potentially rather dangerous crush at a pinch-point with thousands of people all trying to get out at the same time. It all made me realise just how well organised the Bolder Boulder and Shonan marathon had been in contrast. With the 10km race starting 10 minutes before the half-marathon, and from some distance away, I was wondering if I would get out in time - or indeed, at all - but in the end I had a quick 5 minute jog down the road as warm-up and then only 2 mins to wait at the start line, which in the cold and drizzly conditions was perhaps not that bad an option.

I was a few seconds faster than last time at 42:27 (206th out of ~5000), but had been hoping for rather more of an improvement. The crowd at the start probably cost me a bit of time - it was a rather bigger even than the Shonan and I was in the 2nd block with over 500 people ahead. Also, it was a bit breezy and of course wet under foot, which probably isn't conducive to that good a time. Maybe the biggest problem is I just wasn't trying hard enough though - everyone around me seemed to be panting away desperately from quite early on and I wasn't really that tired at the end.


William M. Connolley said...

> toilets were inadequate for the numbers

In my experience this is almost always true.

Anyway, when are you going to run a respectable distance?

James Annan said...

Well, in Boulder there was a rather fast-moving queue - staggering the start over a few hours is a great idea, don't know why everyone doesn't do it - and there was no queue at all for the Shonan race. There were banks of portaloos at both events. In principle a stadium should be able to handle tens of thousands but not when they are all wanting to use the facilities in a 30 minute time window!

I'll run a "respectable" distance when you run a respectable time :-)

Actually, I don't really want the associated joint wear and injuries in any case. I doubt there is much additional benefit in jogging for an hour and a half.

David B. Benson said...

H. sapiens evolved to engage in endurance hunting. Maybe a mere 10 km isn't a long enough run?

William M. Connolley said...

> a respectable time

Ohhh cruel :-). But you're running your age, aren't you? I'm 4 mins better than my age.

> staggering the start

The 10k races I've done haven't been chipped, so that wouldn't really be possible. But they have all been fairly small (largest ~300).

James Annan said...

Oh no, I'm at least...thinks....38 seconds ahead of my age, this time, so I've got you firmly in my sights :-)

David, this homo sapiens evolved primarily to sit at a keyboard - a tall latte and cinnamon roll doesn't take much chasing down!

Steve Bloom said...

Hmm, was Jules off to her annual restocking of complaints about Loud-Americans (some sort of ethnicity, apparently)?

From the inside, I have to say I find Stupid-Americans far more irritating, although admittedly Loud-Stupid-Americans are probably the worst.

tonylearns said...

Well, MY best time at a 10 K is almost exactly 60 minutes. Of course it WAS three years ago (and I was considerably lighter), I was juggling for 90% of it and it was in the Dummerston hills of VT. On top of that I pulled out 2 extra balls at the end so i could have my pic taken crossing the finish line juggling 5.
It was a benefit for Tsunami disaster and I raised $450.
it was at S.I.T. and there were masseuses pre AND post run, as well as some really good home-made lunch stuff.
Oh it is also the only formal race I have run. Very discouraging at first because there were distance markers for 1,2,3, etc and I thought that they were kilometers but when I got to the finish line after the one labeled 6, I realized my mistake!

jules said...


That's right:
"Dear Lord and Father of Mankind forgive our foolish waaays.....
speak through the earthquake wind and cacophany-of-loud-Americans...
O still small voice of caaaalmmm.."

It's alright though. Some of them are nice to me! It is still a bit odd the extent to which others really struggle to comprehend anything I say or do. This year I played my recorder back at them, so that'll learn 'em. In addition, now I know about the wine... ;-)


James Annan said...

Boulder race had mile markers too...for a 10km

(but IIRC it actually had the km marked too)