Namban Conquers 3-Hour Relay in Odaiba
July 5 — Namban Rengo entered two teams in a unique (to us, anyway) event at a park in the Odaiba waterfront area, the Summer Festival 3-Hour Relay. The course was 1.85k loops. Team members ran loops in order, handing the sash off at the end of each loop, until 3 hours had elapsed. Our two teams were the Work Team (Fabian, Alan, Jay, Padraig, Jon, 5 loops each) and the Play Team (Jenene, Bob, Yukiko, Matthieu, Chika, Shiba, 4 loops each). It was a fun event despite the light on/off rain (actually better than blazing heat) and we did quite well: the Work team finished 3rd and the Play team 7th out of 110 teams! The Workers received the unusual prize of a very large bag of fireworks.
Sendai Half Marathon
Nine Nambanners traveled by Shinkansen (Bullet Train) up to Sendai, two hours north of Tokyo, on May 10th for a half marathon held the next day. After some sightseeing and a pasta dinner, we made ourselves comfortable in the Comfort hotel. The race is a big one, over 10,000 runners, with quite a few corporate and university elites. The course is quite flat and the day was quite hot: 23C/73F at the 10:00 start. Some of our group performed well, others not so well, but the star of the day was Amanda Rice, who WON the women’s open division, outdistancing 2,100 other women in about 1:18. She got some nice prizes, and did a long interview with the local paper. After that excitement, we went to a gorgeous onsen (hot spring resort) for a soak and a good lunch. And a look at some samurai armor (photo). Thanks to Satohi Numasawa for organizing this trip.
24 Nambanners Enjoy the Tamako Ekiden
After a day of rain on Thursday the 20th, Friday fortunately brought blue skies (plus strong wind) for the Tamako Ekiden. 24 club members traveled 40 minutes out the Seibu Shinjuku line to the Tamako (Lake Tama) reservoir, where teams of four ran 7.242km (hope that’s precise enough for you) legs around the lake (women ran a 2.4km course). We fielded 5 men’s teams and one women’s team, all of whom did well. Out of 362 teams, our men were 15th, 27th, 34th, 40th and 110th. The women were 5th out of 16. Top honors for times went to Mark Callon in 25:27, Fabian Dubois in 25:57 and Rie Onodera in 9:55. Best of all, every person was pleased with their performance, and had an enjoyable time. Thanks to David Murakami Wood for organizing our teams.