Namban ladies make the podium at Katsunuma

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It was a successful day last Sunday, October 25th, at the Katsunuma Budou kyo Marathon in scenic Yamanashi-ken with two strong efforts by Nambanners Rei Onodera and Chika Kanai. Rei-san held on bravely for second place in a great time of 1:29:36 in the half marathon after leading until the 12km mark. Chika-san also made the podium in the 10km race after taking 6th place with a time of 44:48. Both ladies were very pleased to win 4kg boxes of grapes and bottles of wine, along with large medals.

Katsunuma throws up a scenic but challenging hilly course that winds its way through hill side vineyards and past many wineries. The day was overcast but dry, with little or no wind, making conditions near perfect for running. Even though there was a clash of dates with the popular Edogawa 10km race in Tokyo, the small contingent of Nambanners at Katsunuma thoroughly enjoyed the atmosphere of this festival type event.  After hitting the finish line some of the Nambanners were seen to indulge themselves in the free flowing local white wine or non alcoholic grape juice that was served up to the thirsty runners. There were also piles of locally grown Koshi grapes to eat as well as bento lunch boxes and miso soup that was included in the entry fee.  As a further bonus, twenty or so wineries offered free samples of their wines for tasting. With a 5km, a 10km and a half marathon, a half bottle of wine as the “memorial gift” and all of the after race benefits, Katsunuma is set to become an annual highlight on the Namban Rengo race calendar.

Finishing times/positions
Rei Onodera 1:29:36 – 2nd woman in the Half Marathon
Ma Rowan1:44:38 Half Marathon
Chika Kanai 44:48 – 6th woman in the 10km
Kiki Tanaka 50:36sec in the 10km
Keren Miers 42:29 in the 10km 51st male

There were also good results posted by Teruyuki-san, Yukari-san and Owan-san whose times are not to hand.