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    Runbell — Race Reports

    TELL Marathon - Tomoko Wins 5th Place

    TELL Marathon - Tomoko Wins 5th Place

    On Sunday May 24th, my wife, son and I ran in the TELL run. Who is TELL? Check out their website for more info (http://telljp.com/) or for a quick blurb:
    TELL is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to providing world-class, effective support and counseling services to Japan’s international community as well as helping to address the country’s growing mental health care needs.
    Each year in spring TELL holds a 5k run, 10k run, and a 10k walk. They also have a kid's run. On their website the kid's run was marked as a 5k, but it was really a 400m loop around the track. My 3-year old son participated. One of the challenges of running lately is finding the time between work and raising kids. Tomoko (my wife) has started to get into running now as well so we have to plan ahead to allow both of us the time to run. For the TELL run they staggered the two events. Therefore, one of us could run the 5k and the other could run the 10k. Tomoko took the 10k and I took the 5k. I had to finish in under 30 minutes or else my wife wouldn't be able to start. Of course, just getting to an event with two kids early in the morning on the other side of Tokyo is the first challenge. We somehow managed to get out the door on time and onto the trains basically on time. Our one year old baby girl was full of energy the whole train ride up. The train ride was our warm up. IMG_6164 Once we got to Kawasaki Train station we were shocked at the size. The station was enormous. Unfortunately for us we got off on the wrong side of the station. The wrong side had no early morning buses running. We wouldn't make it to the race on time if we lugged ourselves back into the station to get to the other side. We hopped in a taxi instead. IMG_6170 Crossing over the flood banks we quickly spotted the race set up area. IMG_6172 We checked all three of us into the race and arrived early enough to get ourselves a nice looking TELL T-shirt.   IMG_6261 The 5k race was up first. With a little bit of stretching I was ready to go. I would normally like to stretch, warm up, etc. But with two little ones you just do what you can. IMG_6175 The run was along the river trail which was a nice non-paved road. If the path is non-paved then you never have to worry about a stampede of bikers coming along, which is nice. The dirt path did dry out my mouth with all the dust in the air. Still, a lovely path to run on. We ran one way out and then ran all the way back for one 5k loop. The 3k marker was quite a bit too forward and the 4k marker was too far back, but the course was 5k perfect at the finish line. IMG_6263 The kids race started right after my 5K race so I missed my son's race. Tomoko held our daughter, Miho, and followed Kenny along his run. The aim of the race was to find all the animals: elephants, giraffes, lions, pandas. He loved the race and when he finished he got a bag full of toys from Toys'Rus. IMG_6204 A clown was there making balloons for all the kids too. Kenny got a dog with a lease and a sword with a holder. IMG_6274 IMG_6278 I finished the race in a good time for me: 23'40". I thought I had been running slower so I know I can do faster next time. I haven't run a 5k run in a long time. Lately, all my running has been long 10k runs or more. I want to start working on gaining speed so I need to start running shorter distances in addition to the longer runs. IMG_6188 Tomoko had a little more than five minutes before she was off to run her 10K run. The 10k run was two loops of the 5k run. We cheered her as she passed to make her second loop. As Kenny and Miho were playing on the track some college athletes flew by us at full sprint. Those guys were fast and we made room and found somewhere else to play. IMG_6218 Kenny got his face painted by an artist at the race. In the shower at night, he cried and cried as the paint came off. He wanted to show his friends at Daycare the next day. IMG_6208 There were also two masseuse who were giving free hand massages and free body massages. IMG_6223 For Tomoko's first race debut she did quite well. She ran her 10K in 50'40" and won herself 5th place! IMG_6220 TELL had great prizes for the top 10 finishers of the 5K and the 10K run for both men, women, and young adults. One 11 year old boy won 3rd place in the men's division. He claimed himself a free dinner at a luxury restaurant in Tokyo. He didn't seem to excited. Tomoko won 5 yoga lessons at Yoga Tree. Two lucky winners also won a Runbell. We were very honored to support this race. IMG_6226 And after such a long morning, we finally got to sit down for a late lunch at Kawasaki station. Lunch tasted so good.  

    The Hakuba International Trail Run

    第3回白馬国際トレイルラン On September 15th, I completed my first trail run.  Trail running is awesome.  What a great way to spend a day in the mountains and the mountains of Hakuba are beautiful. My friend and I waited too long to sign up for the race so we missed out on signing up for the middle course.  Only spots on the long course were left open.  We signed up.  50km and 2200m of incline over three mountains.  This race was going to be tough. We spent most of our training in flat Tokyo so those mountains were a shocker. The race was the day before a major typhoon so we really lucked out.  The next day the rain was pouring and the wind was pounding.  But on our race day, the temperature was cool with just a sprinkle of rain.  I have to say that I just love the scenery around Hakuba.  The race was a proper trail race with most of the running on trails through mountains. The course was tough with the first mountain starting at around the 1.5km mark.  Most of us walked as fast as we could up the mountains, but I am sure the lead guys and girls were running it.  The mountains went straight up and down (I can’t wait to ski them in the winter). I wear Vibram Five Fingers when I run and I wore my normal road shoes for the race.  That was a big mistake.  I fell a lot, and fell hard on the slippery downhills.  I really felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going after the second mountain.  But I did keep going, took my time at the recovery station and was completely on empty at the third mountain, which was the lowest but felt the tallest. I bought a GoPro camera the week before the race and yes, took movies along the entire course. Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK1w5E75JtE And check out the course homepage here: http://www.hakubatrail.com/top.html