2009 Fuji Susono barbarian horde
Fuji Susono half-marathon is one of my favorite half-marathons in Japan. Last time I ran it was 2009, I described it as a "hot and hilly scenic detox pressure cooker". This time around it was hot and hazy sans Mt. Fuji view. Given the heat and hills, I was happy with the result, which was actually 1 minute faster than my 2009 race. My splits were:
5K: 25:31 uphill
5K: 21:14 downhill
Total: 1:39:49, 80th in age group
2013 barbarian horde
Did I mention the heat was a big factor? The official temperature was 23 degrees C on race Sunday, but it felt like 30 C in the blazing sun, and was quite a contrast to the cool rainy Saturday. I lined up on the track start with 5-6 nanbanners all aiming for 1:35-1:40ish times. It was awesome to run with so many friends. I dueled in the sun with Rie, Chika, Jon, Teruyuki, Anthony over the first 10k. I was generally passing runners on the flats, but getting passed by some on the uphills, which were prevalent over the first 10k. At 10K Chika was 近い, and she accelerated past all of us except for Terry. I couldn't really answer her attack, and marveled at her strength and cadence on the hot hills despite the fact that she was wearing long running tights and 2 shirts. I was overheating in my singlet and shorts and tried to run in the few patches of shade I could find.
At around 13k I started to feel stronger, and knew that it was mostly downhill to the finish. Still I was surprised at how slow my 5k splits were considering I ran under 20 minutes last month at the 5k time trial. I sighted Chika at 17k and started to reel her in, but it wasn't easy.
Ty and Anzu busied themselves while the runners toiled...
At 20k, I got a big boost from Megumi, Gary, Anzu, and Ty on the grassy sidelines. Ty was super excited to see daddy, much different from Tokyo marathon where he fell asleep!
A big thanks to Chika san for organizing the weekend, including 2 onsens and 2 tabehodai meals. The German brewery and Filipino band did not disappoint the night before the race as well. Of course, thanks to Megumi, who was a superstar attending to the special needs of our little running prince the whole weekend, and managed to take some great pics. It was a great thrill to see Meg and Ty during the race. A big domo to Chiba san for all that you do.
Next stop, Nagoya half-ironman in early June.