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.

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.