We start off with an ultramarathon — the Tsurunuma 100km on the 6th, which was challenged by the Mini Rocket Meeks Kume, who blasted through it in 11:53. Rie Onodera made it to the 83km point, Hiroshi Sase and Nick Coyle to 73km…which ain’t bad at all
One of Japan’s big marathons was on the 16th: Nagano. Seven Nambanners took part (and got sunburned), Colin Hickey leading the way in 3:01:02 (5th time around 3:01), Michael DeLouis running a great first marathon in 3:12, Yuichi Kanamori in 3:15:44, Derek Leong in 3:26, Chika Kanai in 3:28, Alan Cannon in 3:35, and Richard Bysouth a PB in 3:35:56.
Perfect weather prevailed at the Kasumigaura Marathon, 10 Mile and 5K on the 20th. Mike and Rieko Trees came over from England for this one, Mike breezing to victory in the 10 Mile 50s age group by two minutes in 54:40 (3:24/km for 16.1kms). Bob Poulson took 4th in the 60s in 65:34. Both age groups had about 800 men in them. Rieko was 3rd in her age group and 8th overall in the 5K in 20:39. Nice to see all those “Namban Rengo”s on the finishers board. Mike’s sons Tommy (10 mile in 62) and Akira (5K) also ran. In the full marathon (about 22,000), Lawrence Schneck fought stomach cramps to run 3:10, Don Roxburgh cruised a 3:18 and Naoyuki Niijima had a tough race in just under 4:00.
Back in the Ultra world, the 20th was the Fuji Lakes 72K. Jeremy Tucker was there and writes: “I originally sought out your club to help improve my long distance time as I came in last place in the Fuji 5 Lakes 72k in 2013. Last Sunday I ran the race again and out of 603 finishers for the 72k I came in 353rd which was over an hour faster than the first time! I just wanted to thank you for the inspiration.” That’s nice to hear…congratulations!
Still another Ultra on the 20th was the Higashi Tanzawa Miyagase Trial, 32.1km. Yuki Seshimo powered to a 4:18:32, 9th in her age group and 13th overall woman. Eric Lebrasseur did it as a training run in 4:24:03.
The 20th again — Stan Chow and Motozo Rubenstein travelled to the triathlon crazy island of Miyakojima, Okinawa to the 30th anniversary of Strongman, one of the oldest long course triathlon races in the world and certainly the best in Japan. Stan managed to finally run a decent triathlon marathon of 3:54 in 27C weather and hilly course after posting a ok 3km swim and a fast 4:17 bike to finish in 9:13:38, 52nd overall out of 1,500 participants. Despite very little training, Motozo enjoyed the race experience and also finished with his family there for support along the way.
April is of course highlighted by the world’s oldest marathon: Boston. One year after the bombings, three Nambanners returned to Boyleston Street. On a warm day, Anna Novick again broke 3 hours, running a terrific 2:56:45. Brent Millican was only 45 seconds slower than last year in 3:07:11 and Brett Larner eased to a 3:09:04.
And finally, the BIG Ultra — Ultra Trial Mt. Fuji, all 169km of it. Eric Lebrasseur and Takeshi Koide proved their toughness in 36:56:55 and 41:00:47 (that’s *hours*, folks), good for 243rd and 402nd out of 1,422. Taras Koochin also impressed in the 91.5km race, finishing in 22:40:34 for 575th out of 1,064.
Wednesday night workouts are at Oda Field track from 7:30pm.