• The first Sunday in December is always the Okutama Ekiden, a 6-men/3-women road relay that takes place in the Okutama hills 90 minutes west of Tokyo proper. Namban has entered every year since 1988, and this year we had a large presence with 3 men’s and 3 women’s teams. We tried to have teams of equal strength (i.e., not put all the fastest people on one team) to enjoy some inter-club competition, but even so, our top men’s team placed 44th out of 111 teams and the top women’s team, 17th out of 50 teams (inc. fast college and HS teams). With sushi and beer afterwards, a great time was had by all! (Report and photos to the right.)
• December 4th was also the day of the Yokohama Half Marathon and 10K, attended by 10 club members. PBs were run by Pat Higase (1:45:32), Padraig McColgain (1:34:43—PB by 2 minutes!), Harrisson (36:20), Satoe Aoki and Khalfan (report to the right).
• Jay Johannesen was in Thailand on Dec. 4th, for the Laguna Phuket Triathlon, which he completed in 3:21:24, placing 8th out of 100 in his age group and 92nd overall. And David Rubenstein was in Honolulu, where he ran the marathon for fun in 4:44.
• On the 10th, two Namban teams of four runners challenged the four-minute mile, finishing in 3:56 and 4:12 (report to the right).
• Amazingly, on the morning after the bonenkai (year-end party), the 11th, Stan Chow and Chika Kanai were way out in the mountains of Okutama for the Mitake Trail Run. The weather was pleasant but the course had ice and snow on some sections. Stan finished in 1:37:30, good for 131st our of 747 finishers.
• Ultramarathon man Paul Mundt outdid himself on the 17th, participating in Japan’s first 24-hour indoor ultra, which was run on a 260m concrete “track”!! Why he did this is known only to Paul himself, but he seems to enjoy this type of thing. And he’s good at it. He ran 110K in about 13 hours (including “an hour or two” at 4:30/k pace), when disaster struck in the form of a very painful metatarsal (foot bone), which caused him to stop despite otherwise feeling fine. He still placed 26th out of 48.
• A 3-Hour Relay Marathon was held in the National Stadium in Gaienmae on Dec. 18th. Nambanners Adrian Ringin, Cory McGowan, Thomas Sawada, Chika Kanai and Satohi Numasawa formed a team and enjoyed running 1.4km laps around the track and grandstand, finishing a very impressive 31st out of 383 teams.
• Yoshiko Katakura joined a number of Japanese elites running the Hofu Marathon on Dec. 18th. She finished in an excellent 3:19:24, and looks forward to the Osaka International Women’s Marathon on Jan. 29th.
• On Dec. 18th Yoshitaka Ishikawa, Masako Onishi and Christophe Dewulf ran the Takao Tengu Trail Run. Yoshitaka, running the 10K in an afro wig, won his age group in 1:03:06 and was 5th overall. Masako was the 4th woman and Christophe finished in 2:01:00 on the 18K course.
• The Dec. 28th Namban 5,000m time trial brought out the best in a number of club members. PBs were set by Harrisson Uk (17:04), Stan Chow (18:29), Padraig McColgain (19:56, breaking the 20:00 barrier!), Arnold Baneke (20:09), and Hemant (27:35). Also Taro Oguchi ran a yearly best in 19:44 and Jon Morrell showed he is recovering from a long injury with a 19:49.
All Namban workouts at Oda Field from 7:25pm.
• 4 Namban workout 1000 x 6
• 8 Tanigawa Mari Half Marathon
• 9 Ushiku City Marathon
• 11 Namban workout 1000 x 6
• 15 Yokota Frostbite Half Marathon
• 18 Namban workout 600/800/1000/1200/1000/800/600
• 22 Chiba Marine Half Marathon
• 21 Namban club half marathon on the Arakawa
• 25 Namban workout 5000m time trial
• 29 Osaka International Women’s Marathon
As the sun rises
On a new year of running
Our hopes rise with it