Sunday: Great day for racing, nice, crisp, no wind, great sun, flat course, great view of Fuji san and Hakone's Caldera. I met Gerard at Shinjuku and Juergen and Mutsumi at Shimokitazawa on Odakyu sen with a departure at 7:01. Quite early but necessary as Odawara is far far away. We had great view of Fuji san on the way, especially from Shin Matsuda.
From the station, the way is well indicated to the meeting point and we set up Juergen's Namban Rengo banner. We had a 2K warm-up run then we came back to the starting point. I picked up my cap as I've no sun glasses.
The start was at 9:55, 5 minutes early, which surprised Gerard ;-) but he made it in time to the first line. I went to the last line, set up my watch quickly and the race started already! I tried to keep my pace from the beginning without a quick start as usual. Then I settled behind a couple with a very steady pace of 5:45 per km which was fine by me. The water point was at 4K and 6K as it was a go and return at 5K. The course was on the elevated banks of the river, going up then coming back down, but overall almost flat.
My pace: 5'46, 5'44, 5'45, 5'58, 5'57, 5'51, 5'43, 5'41, 5'44, 5'24: total 57'57"57. New PB by 3 minutes !
So 57 is my new lucky number. I know, it doesn't add up and it must be less but I forgot to stop my watch when crossing the line and I pushed the start button slightly after crossing the starting line. Sumimasen ;-)
Thank you Juergen and Mutsumi for the invitation. Congratulation to Gerard for his third place, to Mutsumi for her sixth place and Juergen for his great run.