As some of you may know, I am a fun runner. I am by no means a natural athlete. I didn't grow up in an athletic environment, but later in life I discovered that I enjoy running. I have run four half marathons, three full marathons and about a dozen 10k races. As a fun runner, I find running fun. After running my first sub-four hour marathon in November, I signed up for the Mukogawa Road race half marathon. Today was the day to run.
The Mukogawa (Muko River) is located between Nishinomiya and Amagasaki in Japan.
Unfortunately, going into this race I was somewhat injured. After my full marathon in November, something weird happened with my knee. I suspect it was a new pair of shoes. Something different about the ASICS Gel Kayanos that I have been wearing for years changed with the new model. I ran many times during my Winter vacation, but my knee got worse. I rested for the week before this half marathon hoping my knee would be fine. Going into today's run, I planned to just take it easy, run slowly and have fun. I didn't even turn on my stop watch.
When all was said and done, I finished the half marathon in 1hour 56minutes 27seconds. It was about 9 minutes slower than my PB (personal best), but far faster than I expected. At the end of the day I finished 183 out of 1347 runners.
It was especially cool for me since my son was able to come out for the very first time and see his father at a race. Mind you, he was sleeping when I finished and just plain confused when he woke up, but it was great for me!
Here are a few videos I hot during and after the run with my iPhone:
One of the things I thought was really funny about this race was the fact that there was no bag check. Normally there is a secure area where you can leave your belongings. This race was so small that there was no such thing. At first I was surprised, but then I just found a tree to leave my bag under. The great thing about Japan is the fact that I knew my bag would be safe. No one would ever think to steal from it. I like that about living in this neck of the woods.