2015 HM #3
2015 Race #5
Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Price : 3000 yen
Course : Hilly!
Course time : 2 hours 50 minutes
Out to Nemuro for the half-marathon here. Left around 6:30pm on Saturday evening and got within 30K to Attoko at 11:30pm. On the road again at 6:30am the next morning and arrived at the city office at 7am. Got a decent-ish park, but gotta get there earlier obviously. The city office carpark is small and they have no one there to make sure people park properly. Kinda crazy in there.
Anyway, registered and got on the bus to get out to Cape Nosappu…which is 21K away and the most eastern point of Japan! A little scary going over the course as there are a bunch of hills…pretty much the whole way. Had the opening ceremony right at the cape, then back on the bus to the start line at the local school, which is not that far away.
Two years ago it was rainy with a solid head wind. This year it was sunny and warm, but…not too warm. However it was probably around 20 degrees as opposed to over 30 in Nakashibetsu back in July. Drank more water anyway… Wrote down all the cutoff times as well, just in case…
The race had a two hour fifty limit. Nakashibetsu had a three hour limit so both were quite similar in having a bunch of tough freaking hills! As I said, not quite as hot today though…
Anyway, haven’t really done much since Nakashibetsu (although I have been doing a bunch of hilly walks with MHM), but eased into the rolling course without any problems. A little surprised! Cruised to the first checkpoint/water station at 5K and drank a jelly drink (I accidentally bought four Weider instead of the Seicomart brand last night…double the price…), which I had been carrying in my hand. MHM was there with the support bus, which gave me a lift.
More of the same up down rolling course and got to 10K, where I drank my second jelly drink and a bunch of water. (Not taking any risks getting overheated…)
Then on to the 15K checkpoint. Here I drank more water and had half my slo-bar (or something like that), but not sure if I really like eating solid food in a race. Felt like I coughed most of it down (or up).
It had just been a rolling course until then, but at about 17K there was the hill back into Nemuro. A solid hill. A tough hill. A b#####d of a hill. Knowing that people would be in the streets in town supporting the runners, I ran halfway up, then walked the rest. Needed to conserve some energy for the finish. Of course, it was a pretty hard hill…that might have had something to do with it, too…
Once I finally crested it, it was just a gentle downhill through town. Not sure of my time as I cleared 20K, but no one was cutting me today!
Of course, there was the final hill back up to the city office. Ridiculous. Yet ridiculously awesome. What a killer way to finish! I ran the first third and the last third of it and walked the middle. Then, after turning left at the top of the hill, out of nowhere I charged the final 20 meters or so to the finish. When was the last time I have ever done that?! In fact, despite not training as hard as I should have, I didn’t cramp up in my legs… Maybe it’s all the hills I have been walking (and running) recently?
Anyway, put no pressure on myself for times and just enjoyed the race. Quite a nice area in good weather even. (Yankee culture does still seem to be alive and well though.)
The guest runner from Shikoku (who got a free ticket to come win the race, screw the locals!) did a Q and A session so I got up and asked him how much mileage he does per week. 140K. Man, I don’t want to run that much! Getting paid to come up to all these races in Hokkaido in the off-season would be kinda cool though.
Ice cream at Akkeshi on the way home. That town is nice on a nice day, too. My perception of the area has changed a little!