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From London To Kobe - Let's enjoy the Kobe Marathon!! -

2012年11月26日

The big day has finally arrived…

What a fantastic day it’s been! As I write, it’s 6pm and my legs and back are aching like you wouldn’t believe! (Actually, I’m sure you would believe it if you’re one of the many runners who participated in the marathon today!) Sadly, this is my final contribution to the blog, so to do it justice, I thought I’d give you a detailed account of how it went; before, during and (painfully) after!

Rise and shine!

To my relief, when I drew back the curtains this morning around 6:30, the sun was rising and the wind could barely be felt. I think we’d all agree that the organizers couldn’t have picked a better day for it! For breakfast, I played it safe by eating toast with jam, a bowl of cereal, a yogurt and a banana. This seemed to do the trick, and so off I went with a great big smile on my face, safe in the knowledge that I’ve done all I can to prepare for the big day. My good mood didn’t last long however.

While waiting for 08:06 train (one stop from Sannomiya), I noticed that the cut off time for dropping off your belongings was 08:15. I have no idea how I managed to miss this piece of important information, and was wondering whether I’d have to run the 42km course with a change of clothes, a hat, some towels and a bunch of bananas! So, my marathon began around 08:10, as I had about 5 minutes to spare before being lumbered with my belongings for another 4-5 hours or so! Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one, as quite a number of others were also dashing down to their allocated drop-off point to pass off their belongings. Luckily, we all made it in time, but this really is the last thing you need moments before kick-off!

And we’re off!

Anybody who knows anything about marathon running will tell you that you need to pace yourself, especially during the first half the race. That, however, is very difficult to do when the adrenalin is flowing and you see the streets lined with so many people cheering you on! Honestly, I’ve never seen anything like it! The London marathon was great, but the Kobe crowd was so enthusiastic throughout that they deserve a special mention. I suppose this is what the marathon is all about at the end of the day. Bringing people together to experience and celebrate the community spirit that is certainly alive and well in Kobe. Runners, organizers, volunteers and the public all came together to make this a truly special day for all concerned.

Anyway, back to the running. The first 25km was surprisingly easy (deceptively easy I should add) and never really felt like I was in trouble of breaking down or having to walk a part of the way. That soon changed unfortunately! Around the 27km mark, I decided to tuck into some of the food that was made available by volunteers (bananas, potato croquet, etc), thinking that this would give me the energy boost I needed for a blistering finish. Unfortunately, within minutes, I felt a slight pain in the left side of my stomach, which got gradually worse over the next few kilometers. So, for the next 6km, I was jogging/walking while holding my stomach. Thankfully, the pain eventually subsided, but it wasn’t long before my legs began to give way, which made the remaining 10km a very painful experience!

Anyway, I battled through and finally made it to the finish line in a time of 4 hours 32 minutes; a time that I was aiming for from the beginning to be honest. I thought it may be possible to finish in around 4 hours but, seeing as I never actually managed to complete a 30km in training, I’ll settle for that!

And finally……

So here I am, laptop on my (aching) knees, reflecting on what a special day it’s been. The pain in my legs (and all over) is gradually subsiding, but I still think it’s touch and go whether I’ll make into work tomorrow. I’ll try my best boss!!!

Before I bid you all a fond farewell, I’d just like to congratulate all of you who finished the marathon, regardless of time. It was great to see so many familiar faces from the office running alongside me (passing me would be more accurate I’d say), and a special thank you to all the Sysmex staff who cheered us on throughout. I’m sure I speak for all Sysmex runners when I say that your support and encouragement made a big difference!! I’d also like to extend my gratitude to the organizers and all those who gave their time (including Sysmex staff of course!) to make the Expo on the 23rd and 24th such a wonderful event. Give yourselves a huge pat on the back! You deserve it!

Well, that’s it. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about my preparations for this special day over the past few months. This kind of event really does bring out the best in all of us, and being able to be a part of something so special is a great honour for me. The support and encouragement throughout today has been truly overwhelming.

Well done everyone and thank you, thank you, thank you for all your support over the past few months, and especially today! See you next year!!

turning point

finisher towel

with my personal trainer


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