The big event for March, in fact the big event for the year, was the Tokyo Marathon on the 3rd. We had a good group running and many more out on the course cheering. A good time was had by all (mostly), despite the cold and rain. David Gonzalo Voltas 2:29:43 (PB and Namban Rengo record!), Colin Hickey 2:57, Paul Allen 2:59:43 (PB), Renaud Isman 3:02:03, Rika Homma 3:19:28, Eliza Swedberg 3:27:11, Quoc Nguyen Kien 3:29, Carol Cunningham 3:46:44, Yumi Kato 3:48:05, Tom Taaffe 3:53:22, Leng Leng Koh 3:54, Marek Behr 4:12:11, Hiroshi Sase 6:10, Marcus Kosins DNF (knee).
Hiro Terada ran the Chiba Kenmin Half Marathon on the 3rd in 1:44:38.
A huge turnout for the Koga Hanamomo Marathon and 10K on March 10. A good race for those who don’t get into Tokyo. The Namban contingent was: Emmanuel Obser 2:58:46, Eric Lebrasseur 2:59:22, Romain Demare 2:59:48, Padraig MacColgain 3:45:57, Kimura Yosuke 3:15:23, Yuichi Kanamori Yasuo Hayakawa 3:39:42, Hiro Terada 3:49:10, Justin Boyan 3:43:17, Andrew Farmer Kota Torii 3:51:47, Ayano Onodera 3:55:48 (PB), Glenn Rubin 3:56:09, Eric Wong David Sweet, Simon Jelfs, Yuko Takamuki 10K: Jay Johannesen Yoann Potiron 38:06, Arnaud DeHerrypon
On the same day was the largest women’s only marathon in the world (20,000), the Nagoya Women’s Marathon. Namban was represented by Faith Geraghty 3:16:56, Chika Kanai 3:18:11, Satohi Numasawa 3:28:24, Yuka Rayner 3:43:40 and Celine Bouny 4;11:10.
Also on the 10th, the Tachikawa Half, where Ryudo Tsukizaki raced to a 73:13, his second best time since college. Satoshi Hashimoto was also there. And at the Oyama Tozan race (9.1k up a mountain) Yoko Kubo made it to the top in 1:14:43 and Yukari Oimatsu was right behind her in 1:14:59.
Lots of action on the 17th. Opting for the Itabashi Marathon, Daigo Asada ran to a PB of 2:54:32 (PB) and Rie Onodera struggled to a 3:56:37.. At the Tokushima Marathon, Alan Cannon ran a 3:13. In Tachikawa, Roselle Kingsbury ran the Flower Half Marathon in 1:55:31, good for 5th place. Her baby was popular at the awards ceremony. Over at the Seoul Marathon there were some good results. Stan Chow 2:48:10 (PB), Yuki Fukushima 2:50:12, Nick Coyle 3:45:20, Rika Homma 3:39:53, Mika Tokairin 3:39:53, SeungGi Hong 4:16:05 (PB). And another overseas racer — Vidya Rasthi, who was in Hong Kong for a 100K, which she finished in 22:45:52 — Wow, great effort!
On Thursday the 21st, a holiday, 8 Namban men took part in the Tamako Ekiden (35 mins. west of Shinjuku). 4-person teams, each person doing 7.24k around the lake. Our A team of Yuta Suda, Phil English, Yoann Potiron and Jay Johannesen was very strong (average 3:36/k) and finished 11th out of 354 in a high-level field. The B team of Matt Thomas, Yasuo Hayakawa, Mark Shrosbree and Youri Lavoine placed a very respectable 27th.
Nothing like 100K on a cool spring morning. Eric Lebrasseur and Don Roxbourgh were at the flat but windy Ibaraki 100K, where Eric ran a PB of 9:23:49 (48/665)
Yuta Suda was at the Kumagaya Sakura Half Marathon, where he placed second. Congratulations!
Terry Minegishi,Hang Yu and Rui Natsuka were at another sakura run (even though sakura were not out yet), the windy Sakura Asahi Kenko Marathon, which they finished in 3:35, 3:42 and 4:35:04. Mika Kume was also there.
Yumi Kato was at the brutally hilly Kesennuma 10K on the 31st, where she ran well enough to place 2nd and win a big trophy! Ayano Onodera also ran it. Same day – Eric Lebraaseur ran the Hasestsune 30K, (actually 32k) finishing in 3:24:51, 81st out of 1600. Also running were Taras Koochin, Satohi Numasawa, Rieko Trees and Rie Onodera.
Dan Hewins ran the Miura International Marathon (Half) in 1:57, his first race!
And last but definitely not least, Paul Redbourne ran a Running the Planet 250km event in New Zealand over 7 days, through wind and rain and hot sun, over a few mountains, on rough terrain, and finished strong by kicking in the last 5k!! Awesome. Congratulations!