Thursday, January 03, 2008

Hakone ekiden, day 2 finale

Just as Motozo predicted in yesterday's blog, Komazawa daigaku prevailed with 5 strong legs in day 2 today to take it's 6th championship at Hakone since 2000. Waseda had a small 1:14 lead going into the first leg of today's race, and it's starter Kato ran a sensational first leg to lift Waseda's lead to over 3 minutes. But from that point it was all downhill for Waseda as Komazawa chipped away at the lead in its 2nd and 3rd legs, reducing the lead to a mere 15 seconds by the 4th leg. It only took the 4th leg runner Sakai a few K to pull even with Waseda, and they ran together for several K. At about 7K he pulled away for good and gave Komazawa over a 1 minute lead, which anchor Ota preserved easily.
Juntendo, Tokai, and Nihon taiiku daigaku were all disqualified and must compete in the fall this year for a spot in next year's race.

Thanks to Satohi chan for organizing Akasaka run today. An excellent 1.3k course to mix up interval workouts if you are bored by the track or palace...

I ran with 3 fast girls Rie, Masako, and Satohi for most of the 6 intervals. Splits were:

1K: 3:50
1K: 3:45
1K: 3:46
1K: 3:45
1K: 3:47
1K: 3:42
This again was the best 6 x 1000 workout in about a year since the tokyo marathon and even tougher than a normal workout as it was 6 1/2 intervals with a 300 meter jog, so very little time to rest at the start. Rie ran particularly well too. We celebrated our monster 13K interval workout with an izakaya and karaoke in yoyogi, which knocked me horizontal...

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Hakone ekiden, day 1

Nice watching this exciting race today, and a great performance from Waseda's "Ace" Takizawa, who pulled the teamfrom 12th place to 5th place on his 3rd leg. Anchor (5th leg) and captain Komano passed early leader Yamanashi gakuin (thanks to a sparkling run by Kenyá's Mogusu) to gain #1 spot along with Komazawa daigaku, and soon gapped Komazawa for a 1:14 lead at the finish of the first day.If my calculations are correct, that's about a 3:05 average pace for 108K 5 legs for Waseda.
Too bad about Juntendo daigaku, whose last runner collapsed within a few hundred meters of the finish. So Juntendo, the champion last year, is out.
I guess Komazawa is the favorite tomorrow with its long history of wins. I have no idea on the depth of the Waseda squad though...anyone else watching?

Holiday week has been lazy with a trip to Nagano squeezed in..Here are the numbers:

Monday, Dec 24: Holiday palace run

15K: 1:17:25

Wed track: 5K time trial
5K: 20:28 last 1K: 3:50 (fastest 5K of 2007, believe it or not!) total 8K run

Sat in Nagano, Yatsugatake up hills at 1000 meters
8K: 47:30

Sun ski at Panorama Ski area

Total: 32K for the week (3 hours)

But this week looking better with a 2 hour bike/run on Tuesday, Jan 1...

And some training down time...countdown party revelers, what would oshogatsu and nenmatsu be without K1 and kickboxing?!

Nagano Yatsugatake mountain is called Fujimi Panorama Ski resort. It snowed heavy the night before fortunately, though most of the white stuff is artificial this year.