|Managed to nab the inside lane this time|
|Cold and wet = gloves and beaney|
|It was painful|
|The Japanese Victory blessing I pinned to my Team Victory singlet didn't work|
Following on from the track race I was in no condition to run till the following Wednesday when I met up with Mikes club, Namban Rengo ~ Tokyo International Runners Club.
With the track closed for resurfacing , club founder Bob Poulson (Bob's blog ~ http://bobs-training.blogspot.com.au) swapped the session to nextdoor Yoyogi Park.
Unfortunately it bucketed down all evening and we were absolutely drenched. Mike and Andy sat out the session, 2km, 3x1km, 2x500m.
My back continued to give me pain which I described as like a 300lb bear jumping on my back and squeezing! It was really difficult to breath deeply and it achedlike feck!
I got through the session and headed to the Hachimanyu bath house, another club ritual.
The steaming hot baths eased my back and I was able to enjoy an Indian meal following and a few beers later at the Aldgate an old English style bar in Tokyo.
I did not run again till the following Monday's race north of Tokyo as part of the 28th Otawara Marathon festival.
Another Bullet train journey at 300km an hour!
Conditions were cold and raining, a couple of thousand runners, starting with 800m around a track then a level out and back course.
I started hard and was able to hold Mike for the first 2km.
The town itself puts on this race and makes an immense effort at getting volunteers to help. The organisation was amazing and it seemed like the whole town came out in the rain to cheer us on. I think I got lots of special cheers being a rare Westerner. The gap ahead to Mike got wider and I couldn't hang onto any of the guys passing me. We finished with another lap of the trak. My official chip time was 34:57, Mike ran 34:05.
Mike was 3rd over 40 and I was 6th over 40, a beautiful inscribed metal medal and certificate along with a carton of Asahi beer (race sponser) and a sac of rice! I kid you not! Mine was alcohol free but Mikes was the proper 5% Asahi we'd been drinking during the week! I gave my beer rice prizes away to Hiroe, a former triathlon prodigy Mike used to coach, who had hosted us during our stay in Otawara.
|Quality medal for 6th over 40.|
|It's hard to put into words how beautiful these trains look and how incredibly fast they travel.|
|Asahi Super Dry sponsor for 2020 Tokyo Olympics and Otawara 10km|
|35 years since we last raced together at the 1980 English Schools Cross Country Championship in Newcastle UK.|