Suwako HM, Nagano Prefecture:
This was my first race for Namban in Japan and I really enjoyed wearing the Namban shirt because many Japanese people asked me about Namban and they knew the club! So, I had to do my best to keep the good name ;-)
From the start on I could find a good pace (3:45min/km) since I followed a small group of 3-5 people who tried to stay below 1:20 as well.
Speed was a little high but I kept close to the group to give it a try.
5k in 18:30 and I did not pass out so I decided to keep the pace for while longer. The race scenery is very beautiful and I could have a short look at the nearby mountains and the lake. I passed 10k in 37:00 min and it was clear to me that this will be a serious race from now on. However, breathing felt ok and the legs did not feel too bad but certainly I had to push from there on. 15k went by in 55:20 and I knew I would stay below 1:20. But by how much? Sub 1:19 was in reach and so I pushed harder. At 17k I still could keep the pace and tried to close the gap to the runners in front of me.
I was speculating to stay below 1:18 at the end but it did not work out by 3 seconds ;-) The race is well organized, due to the heavy rain during the previous day the Goal area was pretty wet but everybody could find a dry sport somehow.
After the race, Yuka, Chika, Christiane and me had a great Soba lunch befor we headed by to Tokyo.