The first Sunday in December is traditionally the Okutama Ekiden, a race that has been held for 76 years in the Okutama district, about 90 minutes west of central Tokyo. Namban has been participating for 25 years, and this year we entered 3 men’s teams (6 per team) and 4 women’s teams (3 per team). Results were good, as the top men’s team finished 26th out of 114, and the top women’s team a spectacular 5th out of 48 (short legs, lots of fast university and high school kids). Check here for results
Tomoaki Uchiki, Namban’s 2013 Runner of the Year, prepped for the Fukuoka International Marathon with a 34:26 10,000m track race on Oct. 25th and a 1:14:21 Half on Nov. 15th. This led to a good result in the marathon, as he ran 2:35:00. After a 19:03 first 5k, he ran at about 18:35 pace, then ran the last two 5ks in 17:44 and 17:47! And he’s 40 years old!
Yukiko Kanazawa ran her second race on the 7th, 20K in the Korya Tama Run along the Tamagawa, achieving her goal of sub-2 hours with a 1:48:46.
Also on the 7th, Brent Millican traveled from his home in Texas to Sacramento to run the California International Marathon, where he blazed to a 3:06:54, good for 43rd in the 45-49 age group out of 549 (strong field).
Checking in from England, Jon Morrell reports that he ran the Bromham Christmas Pudding Run on the 7th. He slowed the second half, finishing in 42:34 for 84th out of 500. And received his finisher’s prize of a Christmas pudding!
Saturday the 13th saw Chih Liew, Eric Lebrasseur and Yuki Seshimo down at the bottom of Chiba pref. for the Nokogiriyama Adventure Race. Chih and Eric did the 28K race, while Yuki did the 14K due to an ankle injury. Eric had a good run, finishing in 3:05 for 5th in his age group and 28th overall. Chih ran 3:36 for 45th/133th, despite being hospitalized 2 weeks before for painful swelling of the colon. Yuki was fast as usual, running 2:12 for 3rd in her age group.
One of the biggest Japanese races is the Honolulu Marathon, held this year on the 14th in, surprisingly, chilly and rainy weather. Three Nambanners were there: Lawrence Schneck, who despite having a bad cold finished in 3:09:01; Brett Larner, who decided to jump in at the last minute and ran 3:15, and Mika Tokairin, who was very disappointed in her 4:30.
Harrisson Uk (Namban Rengo Male Runner of the Year) and Stan Chow ran the Kasama Half Marathon in Ibaraki pref. on the 21st, the morning after the Namban year-end party!! And they did very well. Harrisson timed 1:19:15 (3:43 per km), just 16 seconds off his PB, finishing 61st out of 2,337. Stan was not far behind in 1:21:25, a big PB and good for 87th overall.
And finally, on the 23rd, Rie Onodera and Yuichi Kanamori ran the Kakogawa Marathon, a famous race in the Kansai area. Rie powered her way to a great 3:16:07, and Yuichi ran 3:35, bothered by a sore achilles tendon.
Wednesday night workouts are at Oda Field track from 7:30pm.