The Watarase Half Marathon takes place at a pleasant park and reservoir (which is available for boating) in the “middle of nowhere” up in Saitama. Namban has had a presence there for the last five years, ever since Paddy discovered it. Despite being Paddy-less this year, 12 of us navigated our way on the many trains to tiny Yagyu station and then trekked cross-country to the site. It was worth it, as everyone (well, in varying degrees) had an enjoyable race, and despite 26-degree heat, posted respectable times, led by Tomoaki Uchiki in 1:19 and Jay Johannesen in 1:24 (4th in age group). Others were: Bob Poulson: 1:31:30; Philippe Boué: 1:31:35; Padraig MacColgain: 1:38:16 (Watarase PB by 2 minutes); Dave Cahill: 1:49:06; Adrian Ringin: 1:54:50; Ruedee Vance (visitor from Shanghai): 1:56:55; Pat Higase: 1:57:00; Hemant Tikelar: 2:07; Yoshi Niitsuma: 2:00+?; Tomohiro Mitani 2:00+?