dimanche 25 novembre 2018

Race Report - 38th Tsukuba marathon | 第38回つくばマラソン | 2018/11/25

I can copy paste the beginning of last year report:

"After Hasetsune cup at the beginning of October, I started road race training again. This winter I wanted to beat my old 10k PB (only one year old this time), so I did mainly short training. It paid off as I got 10k PB last week at Toda. So for Tsukuba marathon, I was relatively confident with the speed, but not with the endurance as I didn't do the most important specific training: long and relatively fast. "

The end was a little different. Last year, thanks to the help of Tomoki Takahashi, I could accelerate the last 2k and make a miraculous sub3. This year, I started a little bit slower and I was feeling easier until I met the wall at about 34km. After drinking water I got a stitch and then everything went down the drain. Stomach took the opportunity to engage in mutiny and legs followed cowardly. I had to slow down drastically, then it would get a little better, then I would accelerate again, then mutiny again, so no chance to finish strong this time, despite the cheering from Hiroshi Yabuta and Yoshie Niitsuma, especially as Takahashi san was in difficulties too and could not help me.

I finished in 3:06:06. It's my worst time since Katsuta 2014 and put an end to a series of 4 sub3. It's OK, I know the reason, just lack of specific training, so I know what to do for the next one, Koga Hanamomo in March. Well, I know what I should do, but will not correctly do because I also have to train for UTMF in April.

The good news of the day is Yuki's PB. She finished in 3:32:21, 8min21s faster than Katsuta 2014 (again). She started aiming sub3:30 but she went too fast and had difficulties to finish (sounds familiar?). Still, she did a very good race and was not far to her goal. Maybe at Koga.

More pictures here

dimanche 18 novembre 2018

Race Report - 35th Toda Marathon in Saiko | 第35回戸田マラソンin彩湖 | 2018.11.18

Today (Sunday 18th November 2018), was the 35th Toda marathon in Saiko.

Perfect conditions, even better than other years because no wind.

There were few distances available (2k, 5k, 10k and half).
Yuki and I did the 10k as we have Tsukuba marathon next week.
We both did our PB, by 16s for me and by 70s for Yuki.
Yuki: 44min39s, 4th/149 registered in her age group, 134th overall
Eric: 37min58s, 12th/355 registered in my age group, 28th overall
There was a large group of nambanners with many good results.

Pictures here

dimanche 11 novembre 2018

Race Report - 1st Okumusashi Speed Trail Championship | 第1回奥武蔵スピードトレイルチャンピオンシップ | 2018.11.11

Sunday 11 November, the first Okumusashi Speed Trail Championship, organized by Tokyo Trail Running (TTR) took place in...Okumusashi.

There were two distances available: 21k and 42k, plus relays. The course is a ~10k loop and each member of the relay do one loop.

Yuki and I did the 21k. Yuki finished 2d/12 women in 2:32 and I finished 2d/43 men in 1:56, far behind the inaccessible Gary Wilberforce (1:39) from Namban Rengo too.

I enjoyed that race a lot. One of the shorter trail race I ever did, so I could run fast, which is fun, especially if you are in a good day, and I think I was.

I tried to keep a reasonable pace at the start and during the first loop. There where few fast starters that I passed after one or two km, then only Gary and Brian were left ahead of me. Actually I met Gary and Brian for the first time the previous Saturday at a training organized by Tom Moss (Yama yama yama) at Mitake. I also met there Luigi who finished 5 or 6 I think.

Gary was of course out of reach. Brian maybe. He started fast too, but I still could see him sometimes. I kept my "reasonable" pace which was not so easy pace and I could get closer and closer to Brian until I reach him before the last steep climbing of the first loop. He told me to pass as I walk fast on steep climbing, but actually he was walking even faster so I didn't pass. I kept the same pace (I think) and he gradually went away again. Especially on the road section just before the end of the loop, he was faster than me.

Then started the second loop. Again I could get closer and closer to him and finally after about 2km in the second loop I passed him for good. A nice thing with this course is that there are 3 U turns where you can check the distance between you and the other runners and of course you can cheer mutually. The distance was gradually increasing. I kept pushing hoping he could not see me anymore and lose hope ;)

I was feeling good and it was very pleasant. However what I was worrying about finally happened. After drinking at the aid station before the longest downhill, my stomach started to hurt. As there were only 3km left, I tried not to slow down too much, but it was painful. Finally I could keep my advance and arrived in second place, very happy with the result :)

Brian was third and Shinichi Fukumori (福森慎一), that I first met years ago at Nokogiriyama trail, who came all the way from Chiba, was 4th despite a strained calf.

Congratulation to Jerome MisterPain Dpiss for winning the 42k race. It looked very tough and I was happy to have chosen the 21k because I think it would have been a little boring to run 4 times the same loop and mentally difficult to go back for the last loop while most of the other runners have already finished. Moreover the three top guys were very close to each other, so there was no rest until the end!

The race is small scale, very well organized, with convenient shuttle buses, and optional bath and BBQ after the race. The course is not technical, mostly runable (90% for me, maybe 99% for Gary). There is some music at the start/goal place which is quite good. And they take and share nice photos for free.

Thank you very much to the organization and the volunteers. It was a great job. If, hopefully, you do it again next year, I should participate again.

Photos from me, Yukiko Kanazawa and the organization here:

GPS trace here: