Out to the Boondocks for the Watarase Half (9/25/2011)
The Watarase Half Marathon is a nice medium-size race held far out in the Saitama countryside. After a 2-hour trip, you arrive in the “town” of Yagyu, which consists of a small station and a few houses. If you want to eat after the race, you bring your own food. The course is flat and fast, looping around a scenic reservoir and surrounded by greenery. The weather tends to be warm, but fortunately it was cloudy for half of the race. Six Nambanners enjoyed a pleasant day, with varying degrees of success. Bob Poulson led the pack with a 1:26:02, good for 6th place in the 50-and-over division (winning a “HiTeck Tumbler”, which is a drink mug). He complained endlessly that the 4th 5k section was long, and pointed this out to the race officials. Whether this meant that the overall course was long or not is open to question, although two Garmins indicated that it probably was not (however, Bob does not trust Garmins). Paddy O’Connor was in next in 1:29:16, suffering from “seizures” in both calves, after a perfectly paced (low 1:20s) first 15k. Robert Hogan was next in a nicely run 1:43:20, followed closely by Padraig MacColgain in 1:43:45. Pat Higase finished strongly in 1:49:33, an excellent achievement since she did not feel good before the start. Elsie DeLorenzo completed the group in 1:59:26, having had a problem with dehydration. It’s a good race — hope more club members will do it next year.