In the elite division, Adil Annani of Morocco won the race in 2:10:15 ahead of Seiji Kobayashi in 2:10:38 and Keita Akiba in 2:10:53.
While we are waiting for Yoshida-san's own report!
Congrats to a new PB!
Here is our hero's story:
I ran Beppu Oita Mainichi Marathon on last Sunday. It was my 50th memorial marathon. I finished 2:43:40. It was 4 minutes faster than previous PB. It was the most wonderful performance in my marathon career. I have been so happy!
Finish time 2:43:40
1st Half 1:21:36
2nd Half 1:22:04
Worst blistering I've ever had compounded by stomach troubles which
started during warmup.
I guess Tokyo won't be a funrun after all. I got up this morning at
7:30 and went for a run along the waterfront in Beppu.
Thanks to Dayan and Kibe-san for the hospitality and to them and Mika
for the cheering.
Christian, 2:56:36, last place
Ever since I've read Brett's report about Betsudai I knew that I
wanted to run that race as well. I qualified in Zurich last year with
a 2:42 and I was really looking forward to running this famous race.
Preparation went very well in November and December, I ran PB's for 5k
(inofficial), 10k, and HM and I did all the long jogs as planned. The
first week of my holidays in Switzerland was dedicated to run a 100
miles week, which I did wihout any troubles. I wanted to do another
100 miles in the second week but on December 31st it suddenly became
much colder. I was watching the fireworks outside standing around in
the snow for a couple of hours and when I got up on January 1st I
could barely walk: my knee injury was back again! I didn't want to
accept it and I trained for a day or two even though it was very
painful. After that I decided to give it some rest and I didn't run
until I came back to Tokyo. Without training everything was fine, I
could sleep, sit, and walk without any pain but as soon as I started
jogging it would hurt at every step. I missed a 35k long jog in
Switzerland but I did the last long jog, a 38k, around the palace and
the pain was such that I could just bare it. I had to take off another
week, ran Shibuya Ekiden, took off another week, couldn't finish the
easy 25k jog (I walked back home after 6k) after that and took off
another week. No training in January.
I didn't know how to run Betsudai; good preparation for two months,
almost all the long runs done, but one month without running. I
decided to run around 3:45 pace and I expected it to be rough in the
beginning but not too hard after 30k because I had done almost all the
long jogs (QUESTION to the Namban Marathon experts: what do you think?
Also after having read my splits. Please e-mail me!). If the knee was
going to hold, that strategy could be quite good.
At the start I was 10 rows behind Brett but I caught up until we
reached the 1k mark and we ran together for the first 10k. I had a
perfect pacemaker and besides some stomach cramps it went surprisingly
well. The cramps got worse after 10k and I had to slow down a bit, my
knee started to complain as well but it was probably a psychological
pain only. I was running at the back of a small pack of some 20
runners, who also served as a wind shield. Being at the back was a
problem at the aid stations though because there would be only little
water or sports drinks left. Half-way just below 1:20, I still had a
lot of energy left, was pretty confident, and felt like I could hold
the pace. Dayan and Kazumasa cheered me up even more. The turning
point at 25k felt quite far, I maybe slowed down a bit. After that we
left Beppu heading back to Oita and even though I didn't feel the tail
wind, it helped me to run a decent 19 flat split until 30k (1:54 might
be a new 30k PB) and I felt ok until 32/33 when things got a bit
worse. I couldn't even hold 4min pace anymore and Oita was still way
to go. Mika cheered me up at 37k when I was already suffering very
badly. My legs felt like stones. 35-40k is probably the slowest and
most painful 5k I have ever done - it took me almost 27 minutes (yes,
that's 5:23 pace - and I was trying hard). Brett had told me in the
morning that the last check-point was at 40k. I didn't think it was
relevant, BUT after 34k my main goal was to make it to that checkpoint
in 2:42. I didn't want to give up. As I didn't have a watch, all I
could do was to run as hard as I could - I arrived just 19 seconds
before they would close it - girigiri. The crowd in Oita was awesome,
they cheered me up and pushed me to the finish. The last 2.2k I walked
and jogged, without the spectators cheering and the bus moving at
snail speed behind me I probably would have walked only. It was really
embarrassing. But I finished and got a towel. Finishing last was a
whole new experience for a spoiled guy like me - I'll never forget it
and I learnt my lesson. The 5k splits will tell you the same story:
19:00 1:53:59 (30k PB)
Looks like the strategy of some investment banks: all out taking full
risk until 30-35k, collapse, and hope for a government bail-out. Just
that there was no government to help me out. And I still got a nice
towel as a bonus ;-)
PS: Just before we left the hotel we looked at the 2002 Football World
Cup memorial pictures in the lobby in more detail. The Italian team
stayed at that hotel for 3 nights and apparently I've had the room
(1103) where the famous Alessandro Del Piero had been sleeping in June
2002. Had I known that before the race... ;-)