Strong Namban Showing at Toda Marathon

The popular Toda Marathon (Half and 10K) was held on November 16th in wonderful sunny weather with a bit of wind. 18 Nambanners were on hand, along with several supporters, to run 21.1km or 10km around a nice quiet lake (Saiko) in Toda, Saitama. The course was almost fully flat except for a few small jhills. Everyone was happy with the venue, the race organization, and the perfect not-too-hot-but-sunny weather.
Pat Higase (47:06 for 10K) and Derek Leong (1:22:59) ran personal bests, Chika Kanai was the 6th fastest woman, six of our men placed in the top 50 in the half, and Taeko Okamoto did a great job running her first half in 1:49:33. Also Jillian Healy made a gutsy effort to complete her first half marathon despite an injury. Congratulations to all!

Sun, Run and Loads of Fun — the Namban Fall Race &  BBQ

The club’s annual 10K and Half Marathon, followed by a barbecue, was held on Sunday, October 26th along the banks of the Tama river. Indian summer came to Japan, with the temperature climbing to 26C/79F, so it was pretty warm for racing (they were dropping like flies at the Osaka Marathon), but better than cold rain! We had a great turnout of about 80 people, who enjoyed running, cheering, watching the kids’ race and eating, eating, eating. Alistair Bibby and his team prepared massive amounts of food for an American (hamburgers and hot dogs) and Australian (beef and shrimp on the barbie) BBQ, along with plenty of beer and wine. Winners were Joe Siegel and Rie Onodera in the Half (1:23:43 and 1:38:42) and Chris Winter and Jenene Marks in the 10K (36:28 and 43:13), plus Nicholas Whiteoak, who blazed the kids’ course.

Nambanners Enjoy the Fruits, and Fruit Products, of Katsunuma.

Fruit products meaning, as you can see in the photo above, wine. The occasion was the Koshu Fruit & Wine Marathon, held in the wine country of Katsunuma in Yamanashi prefecture. This event consists of 10K, Half and 23K races, all of which are extremely hilly. And they’re even more difficult if you have been to the wine tasting festivities the day before (and more so if you rode a bike 60K to get there).
In any case, 15 Nambanners took up the challenge and did quite well, with Carolyn Kim, Chika Kanai, Mike Rayner and Rie Onodera all earning top ten finishes, plus Harrisson Uk placing 13th overall in the 23K. Each participant received a bottle of wine, none of which survived the trip back to Tokyo on the “Wine Train”, as evidenced by the photo (for some reason, the participants themselves were not able to pose for a photo). Seems like it was a fun trip.