Hiroo Santaland HALF-MARATHON : 2015

2015 HM #8
2015 Race #10
Sunday, October 4th, 2015

Price : 3500 yen
Course : Flat
Course time : 2 hours 30 minutes

Tenth (completed) race for the year! Well…yeah, not really “racing”…if I tried to “race” these, I would probably get injured pretty early on. Not exactly a low-impact sport…

In Sapporo for the day on Saturday, but out for the local half-marathon (first annual?) on Sunday. A little crazy, but had to get it done. Signed in at 8am…and then back again at 10:40am or so to get ready for the start. Weather was looking good. Warm even. Word down at the surf point was that it was good down there too. With the road by the ocean closed to traffic, the local surfers had gone in early to support the runners/score an uncrowded session. Nice. With ten days off since Bibai, my legs were feeling pretty good too.

The race started at 11am and there were a lot of people lining the streets. A LOT. Got going, but totally felt I was running too hard at the start. Rush of blood, I guess.

Down the main road, again a lot of people, and then the first water station at the end of the main drag at 2.5K for the 5K turnaround. Was actually feeling really thirsty so stopped to drink. Then a small drop down before starting to run by the ocean out towards Oshirabetsu. That would be tough on the way back! Still felt I was running a little too fast, so just tried to cruise. Pretty weird running through the tunnels, or on that road in general, as it usually gets a lot of traffic. In fact, I would never normally run there. It would be freaking terrible!

Got to the next water station at 4.6K. Drank my jelly drink, water and made it to the 5K mark at 28 minutes. Definitely a little faster than normal. This is about where the surf point is and with not much wave action, they were actually doing a pretty good job supporting the runners. Me, in particular. A long line of high fives pumped me up…right when I needed to slow down… Oh well…

Another water station at 7.5K and then kept on to Oshirabetsu. Hit the 10K at 55 minutes and the halfway point at 58, really needed to chill out though… Wasn’t intentional, I just knew too many people in the race, supporting or acting as race officials… Didn’t want to look bad! They had bananas at the 10K water station right at the harbour, but I flagged that for my second jelly drink and more water. Did a couple of little loops in Oshirabetsu then back on the ocean road back to Hiroo. Feeling good, but still running a little too fast. Got to the 13.5K water station, which an old friend from the town office was working on, ran pretty hard and felt a little twinge in my calf… Didn’t want to cramp up so I definitely slowed down after that!

Hit the 15K at 1:25, but I was definitely slowing down when there was no one around to save myself up for the run down the main street, not to mention passing the surfers again. Got another big boost there, but I slowed right down when I got out of sight of them!

The little rise going back up on to the main drag was tough, walked some of it, too. Got back on to the main street and cruised it back, past the bus station and onwards, turned right and up the slight rise by the pool and then down through the Santaland gates and into the finish at the local elementary school. 2:05:10. Good to get it done. Five HMs in five weeks!

High fived the guest runner at the finish, high fived my old boss, but with MHM not there waiting for me, I had to go organize my stuff myself. Couldn’t exactly think straight, but got it done. A banana and water at the finish, then fish eggs on rice, pork soup and meat off a spit. The food was pretty impressive (I could only eat the banana and drink the soup though), but there was no race towel, t-shirt etc.

And I won a Santaland tree in the prize draw. “Real tree style”…which actually means it’s a real tree. Sounds like it’s fake though!

They also had a pretty good festival going on there (you even got a 500 yen coupon), but I didn’t even use it as I got talking to too many people. The random Hiroo guy who was at Bibai had entered too… and he kinda freaked out again. Using sign language way too close to my face to get his message across. Sigh… Friendly enough though.

Great course, along as the weather is good. Seemed to be well organized too. Pretty good event, I must say.

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