Asahikawa 10K : 2014

Up to Asahikawa on Sunday the 28th of September for the race here. Again just the 10K – not quite up for a half yet, but I am starting to enjoy running the 10s. Registration was between 7-9am, so we rolled in at about 6:30 to get a spot in the main carpark. Didn’t want to have to park across the busy road in the Self-defense Forces carpark again. Major hassle if you forget something and is rough walking back to after the run as well. Got registered, but no names I recognized in the guidebook. So many people living in and around Asahikawa, but only like three foreigners ever take part. Oh well.

McDs was sponsoring this and Ronald was even in attendance. Speaks very good Japanese as well. No accent either… Yet I failed to get a photo with him before or after the race. Every time I tried, he would suddenly walk off in the other direction. Must be telling me something. Never going to Maccas again…

Anyway, the race started at 10am. Thought it was going to be sunny, but it ended up being cloudy, cool and windy. This is an out and back course and it was easy running down by the river to start with. My first goal was to make it to the first water station at 5K without stopping. Took me a while to warm into it, but no problems today. The weather definitely helped!

Walked through the station, hit some Seicomart jelly, before running up the hill and turning around to head back… into the wind! Wasn’t sure how I was going to go on the way back so I picked a guy and tried to just hang on. Green Shirt Guy seemed a good choice and tried to stay with him back to the stadium. At about 8K I started to slip off the pace though. Kept him in view, but he started to pull away a bit…

Love how they kept telling people to run to the left to give the front runners in the half-marathon space on the right. There’s always a few who just run wherever they want to. No big deal, but kinda stupid…

Anyway, after 8K was a bit tough, but still managed to keep running without stopping. Flagged the guys handing out mini tomatoes, but there was another water station just near the end so I took a drink and kept at it. Wasn’t planning a big finish, but I had to break out of this group of five or so people in order to give MHM a chance to take my photo. Little surprised that I had any gas left and passed a whole bunch of people in the process, including the guy in the Uniqlo 3/4 pants and this other guy with a face mask. Allergies? Gotta be tough during a race. Or maybe he’s trying to stop himself from catching swine flu. Who knows?!

Of course, I was DONE at the finish line, but being a 10K, I was kinda good five minutes later – after hammering the Seicomart-brand chips MHM had bought, that is. Finished in 55:28. After a frustrating year, I was just glad to finish in a somewhat respectable-ish time. Decent improvement from Shinhidaka, too. Five weeks until Obihiro though. Can I get this done?!

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