Tag Archives: Tokyo Marathon


I made it! (and OW it hurts…)

I can now scratch off one of my resolutions for the year – that of completing a full marathon. 🙂

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It’s the first time I’ve EVER done this, and I’m feel pretty proud of myself (feeling pretty sore too).  My time wasn’t that great – I came in around 6hrs 41mins – and the cutoff time was 7hrs.  To be honest, I barely made it.

The primary reason it took me so long was because my bum knee kicked in at around the 12km mark.  I started off slowly, but it just started hurting again at a quarter of the way in and from that point I was forced to run/walk/run/walk the remainng 30km.  It was incredibly frustrating.

Another reason I took so long was because it took my “block” 20 minutes to even get past the start line!  With so many runners (30,000+) I guess it couldn’t be helped, but next time I hope to be placed somewhere closer to the start line so those 20 minutes aren’t lost.

The final reason I was so slow was… call of nature.  At around the 12km mark, I figured I’d stop and line up for a bathroom break, and give my knee a few minutes to rest up at the same time.  Bad idea.  I ended waiting at least 20min to use the bathroom, and that was the reason I barely crossed the 15km line before cutoff.

There were multiple cutoff points along the route – 15km had to be completed in 2hrs 38mins, and as you can see in the table below, I made it with NO time to spare.  In fact, I was the last one across that line as I dashed through just as the officials were roping off the 15km point – if I’d been 30 seconds slower, it would have been the end of race for me.

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That actually put more pressure on me, since I didn’t have any more of a “buffer” between the cutoff points, so I just kept going on – no more bathroom breaks for me!

I think the hardest period was the 25km to 30km period.  By then I was tired, legs were burning so much that I couldn’t feel the knee pain anymore (since EVERYTHING hurt), and I also started getting lighted-headed as energy levels were dropping.  I recall staring intently at every single eating spot I ran by (some of which were emitting some wonderful smells…).  Luckily I had some energy gels that my coworker had given to me, and those helped carry over that rough patch.

From 30km onwards, I knew it was in the bag.  12km is about the equivalent of 2 laps around the Imperial palace so it was just a matter of taking each kilometer as it came.   At that point, it was really a matter of willpower.  I think I even managed to speed up (from a walk to a hobble) because my legs were so dead I couldn’t feel much.  That, and the end was in sight. 🙂

Though it was bad for the runners (it was raining and very cold), the spectators probably had it just as bad as we did.  At least the runners warmed up from the physical exercise.  The spectators though, had to stand there, huddled under umbrellas, and cheer us on.  I’m really grateful to all the people who held out snacks of chocolate and crackers – particularly towards the end, those snacks gave me the last bit of energy I needed to keep going.  It was incredibly cheering to see people (including families and children) shouting “Gambare!” “Fight, fight!”.  I even pet a dog that one man was holding up. 🙂

All in all, it was an incredibly challenging experience.  Would I do it again?  Probably!  I do plan on training a little better this year though – AFTER my legs recover.  Despite the pain, it’s just something I can feel proud of doing, of pushing myself hard, and making it to the end.

For those interested, you can click on the link below and enter 6hrs 41min (as shown in the image) to see a video clip of me as I cross the finish line. 🙂


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Tokyo Marathon!

Course Map I  can’t believe it’s already been 10 days since my last post, heck I can’t believe we only have 2 days before February is over!  It has been a busy period recently, and I’ve been too tired to do much in the way of posting.  I wish I had more energy though – I will hear, or read, or see, or experience something and I will often think of writing about it… only to put it off for the above reasons.

I just wanted to mention quickly that the Tokyo Marathon will be taking place this Sunday.  I and 5 other folks from the office will be participating!

To be honest, I’ve done little to nothing in the way of practice this last month due to a knee injury I sustained during a 20km practice run in early January.  So I’m actually a bit worried about how I will handle 42km… my only “strategy” is going to alternate between walking and jogging, hopefully with more of the latter.

My only goal is to FINISH.  Though the 8,000,000 prize money would be something spectacular, I don’t care if I’m dead last, I don’t care if I have to limp or crawl the whole way – as long as I cross the finish line before the cutoff time, I will be satisfied.

Wish me luck!


*gasp* *wheeze*

It looks like I’ll be tackling one of my new year resolutions sooner than expected – that of running a marathon.

One of the folks in the office was lucky enough to have friends in the right places that were able to pull some strings – all the people (who wanted to) in the company running group will be joining the Tokyo Marathon… including me! :0

Information for the Tokyo Marathon can be found here, and as you can see, entry is EXTREMELY competitive.  It looks like over 272,000 people applied – but only 32,000 spots are available.   I actually applied the “normal” way first, by submitting my application online, but didn’t win the “lottery”.  Out of the 6-7 people in the office who applied, only 1 made it.  However, thanks to “connections”, we were lucky enough to be able to apply again (shhhh) and make it in.

So… this means that I’ll have to seriously practice again since the race is in less than 2 months!  After 3+ months of slacking off on running, I’ve got my work cut out for me. (^^;

Actually – I just found out today that I had applied to (and forgotten about) a half-marathon in Shinjuku (21km).  I just got the entry card today, and after a few minutes of head-scratching I remembered that I had applied for this over 2 months ago.  That will be on the 31st of this month.  Good practice for the full marathon on February 28th!

With my weak left knee, my goal is not to win (would probably cripple myself if I tried pushing myself that hard), but rather to feel the satisfaction of actually having been able to run 42km non-stop.  Wish me luck!