Friday, February 25, 2011

Running Tokyo 東京マラソン2011

In just two days, tens of thousands of runners will hit the streets of Tokyo, Japan to take part in one of the world's biggest marathons. Tokyo Marathon 2011 is slated to be one of the biggest and best marathons in the world. This year, I won't be on the streets of Tokyo with 29,999 other runners. I'll be at home, in Kobe, Japan, watching it on television and I'll be filled with nostalgia.

Just one year ago today, I was in Tokyo and arriving back at my hotel in Shinjuku, near the marathon start line, after a fun and exciting day at the Tokyo Marathon race expo.

Tokyo Marathon 2010 wasn't my first full marathon, but it was my first major international one. Previous to that race I had only run a small community marathon on Osaka with about 2000 runners. It was along a river with no people there to watch and cheer the runners on. It was quiet, a little boring and basically, runner vs. the road.

What I experienced in Tokyo a year ago this weekend was a completely different beast from my first marathon. It WAS completely different and completely wonderful!

The fact that my trip to Tokyo was my first solo voyage to Japan's biggest city was fun. The fact that I had taken a few days off from work to go there was also fun. The energy that filled the city around race weekend was by far the most exciting aspect of the weekend! Runner tourists from around the world had descended on the downtown of Tokyo to enjoy the exciting culture, great food, dynamic sights and then top it all off by running a full marathon on Sunday morning.

The marathon started off on a very rainy and cold Sunday morning. To be honest, getting ready, lining up and waiting to start running was a miserable and cold experience. By the last 15 kilometers though, aside from the pain, I was having the time of my life. The fans cheered us runners on and the sun came out to shine brightly.

Sadly, I reapplied to run in Tokyo Marathon 2011, but wasn't given a spot. I will be watching it on television on Sunday morning like so many other folks across Japan. The coffee will be flowing in my kitchen and my family will gather around the TV. My son will get to watch his first marathon. My wife brought him to the last half marathon I ran, but he slept the whole time!

I did apply this month to run in the first ever Osaka Marathon this October. I'll be keeping my fingers crossed that I get a spot in that one!

Here are some video blogs I made during last year's race. I filmed while I was running!

Follow me on Twitter: @jlandkev

No comments: