Net Time 1:35:37
This was the 5th time that I had run the Chiba Marine Half Marathon since my first time in 2012. I was supposed to run last year, but something came up and I had to break my streak. This year saw the best weather yet with warm sun and little breeze which while great, was unfortunate as it coincided with my worse condition. I have been nursing a hamstring strain since last year. It had been getting better but I aggravated it at the interval training in Yoyogi Park on the Wednesday before the race and I only decided to run the night before after resting it for three days.
As before, a large group of Nambanners showed up, maybe as many as 15. We met at the Kaihin Makuhari station at the by now usual time of 8:10 before heading over to the reception at the Lotte Baseball Stadium. The weather was so good that I was able to run in a singlet and without gloves. I only felt a little discomfort for the first 1km before I warmed up and did not feel cold again. I had hoped to run at 4:15 /km pace but I soon realized that every time I ran faster than 4:30 I could feel my hamstring twinge so I just kept going at that pace and managed to run all the kms at basically the same pace from start to finish.
At one point, around 7km, a man dropped his gloves, presumably as he was putting them in his pockets, stopped and turned around to try and retrieve them. This happened right in front of me and I had to jam on the brakes to avoid running into him and falling over. As I felt a shot of pain go up the back of my left leg, I screamed abuse at him and wondered if my race was over.
One of the great aspects of the Chiba Marine Half Marathon is the switch backs. There are 2 or 3 where you can look out for your club mates and shout encouragement and receive it as well. Although most of the race is very flat, there is one hill as you have to cross a bridge with a couple of km to go. On the way out it does not seem too bad but on the way back it is tough. However, once you are over it, the stadium is back in view and you know you are on the home stretch.
I really enjoyed this year’s race, mainly because of the weather and the great people from Namban, 5 of whom got PBs. Hopefully we can have the same day again in 2018.