Thursday, October 18, 2012

Chiba Aqua Line Marathon 2012

"I've learned that finishing a marathon
isn't just an athletic achievement. It's a state of mind;
a state of mind that says anything is possible."
John Hanc
running writer


marathon

Yup, if you are wondering that I will be running a marathon, that is exactly I'm going to do come this Sunday. If you ask me half a year ago that I will be participating in a marathon race, what's more a full marathon (42.195 km), I would have laughed off that suggestion. For a person who finds it hard even to complete a 2-km jog several months ago, taking part in this grueling run is almost like a mission impossible to the power-of-two. 

However, let me just say that it was a twist of coincidence. Early this year, the Chiba-Kun Ambassadors were invited to participate in the first Chiba Aqua Line Marathon. Unlike normal participants who will have to go through a lottery draw to be selected as part of the 15,000 runners in the race, our places in the race are guaranteed. Without giving a second thought, and how grueling a marathon can be, I submitted my name.

countdown

One-year countdown held in Umihotaru of Tokyo Aqua Line on October 21, 2011. (photo taken from here)

I admit that I slightly regretted my action at first, but realizing that it will be unpleasant to chicken out and pull out after registering, I told myself that this would be it. I'm gonna go all out and give my best in this race – my first ever marathon in my entire life. Prior to this, I have never joined in any race, be it a 10km race, half marathon; nothing, not even the popular jogathon during my schooling years. And yet, I am throwing myself into a marathon race. Sounds very much like an overly optimistic person, ain't I?

How I will fare in the race is not my main concern now, although my target for my first marathon is just to finish the race within the regulation time. I started my training back in late June, by running an average of 1 to 2 kilometers once every few days in a park (Shinkoiwa Park) where I am currently living. There is a 650-meter running track around the park, and that became my running place for some time. However, I realized that such distance is not enough if I am talking about training for a marathon.

office

Countdown monument at the Chiba Prefectural Office in Chiba city. (photo taken from here)

On one fine evening, I decided to take a detour from my usual spot and pheww, it was certainly a great experience. Running on the Hirai Ohashi bridge that goes across Arakawa River and along the road which stretches along the river exposed my with the elements that I will certainly meet during the real race. A fantastic course for my intensive training, I thought. And as a bonus, there is the magnificent Tokyo Sky Tree and on a clear day, Mount Fuji is also visible during my run.

Soon, I drafted a training schedule, as I counted down to my race on October 21st. I have also set up a blog at fortytwo-point-oneninefive.blogspot.jp to track my training progress since then. To be honest, I would say I'm slightly undertrained for this coming marathon due to many reasons - tight working schedules on weekdays, business trips to outstation at times, weekends filled with plans, etc. I know that those are just excuses but well, I guess with all the training that I have done, I hope it will be enough for me to cross the finishing line at the Kisarazu City Hall Office, hence completing my first marathon in my life.

medal

Lets hope I can bring this back after the race this Sunday! (photo taken from here)

By the way, I will be one of the three Chiba Kun Ambassadors, who will be part of the 39 guest runners invited to run in this marathon. They include TV show personalities, university professor, commentator, high school school teacher, reporter, artists, all who are closely related to Chiba Prefecture. I could be the sole representative from the South East Asia. So the stakes are high and must make sure I finish off the race, no matter how many hours I will take!

I would love to quote Fred Lebow, the co-founder of New York City Marathon, which is part of the World Marathon Majors.
"The marathon is a charismatic event. It has everything. It has drama. It has competition. It has camaraderie. It has heroism. Every jogger can't dream of being an Olympic champion, but he can dream of finishing a marathon."
It's okay if you are not there to cheer me along the way or at the finishing line, but a short comment to wish me luck would be very much appreciated!

2 comments:

Calyn Ong said...

All the best! I'm sure you'll do well. I only started training like a month before my 10 km run (somewhat real training only started like 2 weeks prior to the run actually lol) and still managed to finish within the cut-off time :D

Go go go! Bring back the finisher medal! :D

calvin said...

@ Calyn Ong:
Thanks for your kind words. I know it's super late for me to reply to your comment, but goog thing we managed to finish our race!

Gotta run together one day! :P