February’s calendar was full of marathons and half marathons, including of course, the big one, Tokyo, plus the Ome 30K.
The first day of the month saw several Nambanners travel to Kyushu for the semi-elite Beppu-Oita Marathon. It has a 3:30 qualifying time and there were 3,400 people entered! Harrisson Uk led the Namban charge with a sensational 2:42:55 (6-minute PB), followed by Joe Siegal in 2:45:52. Also under 3:00 were Gildas Tuffin in 2:55:37 and Derek Leong in 2:57:46, a 10-minute PB! Chika Kanai ran a solid 3:23:28. Stan Chow DNF’d with leg cramps – next time, Stan!
Also on the 1st, more black and yellow singlets were down in Kanagawa for the Kanagawa Half. The course is dull but flat and the weather was good, resulting in several good times. Jay Johannesen cruised to a 1:20, George Nicholson returned to racing with a 1:23:37, Steve Karnas ran 1:24:06, a PB by 5:30, and Sam Sorkin also ran a big PB of 1:34:11.
Raymond Wong stayed close to home in Saitama for the Misato 10K on the 1st. He was fifth in his age group out of 120 in 39:38, pretty good considering he ran 3:10 in the Hong Kong Marathon the week before!
Chris Winter did the low-key, windy WRJ 10K in Kashimada on the 1st, winning the race in 36:10—congrats!
Aki Hoshino was in Miyazaki on the 8th for the Nobeoka Marathon, where she ran 3:32:29. Previous to that, she had won (!) the women’s division of the Kisetsu no Megumi 10K in 41:19.
The ever-popular Ome 30K and 10K was on the 15th as usual. Anna Novick ran 2:06:40 to finish as the 9th woman. The long-injured Taeko Hara ran 50:50 in the 10K and Chika Kanai ran 43:30 in the team event, which her team won!
Also on the 15th, Yuichi Kanamori joined the scenic Kyoto Marathon, finishing in 3:20:54.
Which brings us to the Tokyo Marathon on the 22nd. 30 Namban runners took part, too many to mention, but it was nice to see several members show up from overseas: Kylie Breeze, Carol Cunningham, Mary Eckstein, Colin Fulton, and Jon and Tamami Holmes. The Namban parade was led by Henry Kelly in 2:58, with Eric Lebrasseur following in 2:59. Yannick Bethegnies missed sub-3 by 3 seconds and Michael DeLous by 3 minutes. Many more turned out to cheer and of course enjoy the traditional post-race party.
Fukaya in Saitama stages its own race on the same day as Tokyo, the Fukaya Half. Harrisson Uk likes this race (maybe he likes the leeks they give away) and did an “easy run” in 1:20. Satohi Numasawa ran 1:34 and Harrisson-coached Yukiko Shimada was very happy with her 1:38:56 PB.
Also on the 22nd, Mami Hashimoto was in Himeji (Hyogo pref.) for the Himeji Castle Marathon, which she finished in 3:43:55.
Wednesday night workouts are at Oda Field track from 7:30pm.