Home » Uncategorized » Yamanaka ko Half Marathon, May 31 2009

Yamanaka ko Half Marathon, May 31 2009

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Long race report:

Yamanaka ko is the largest of the five lakes around mount Fuji.
It has a shape of a big ovale or a whale. Its altitude is 950 meters above see level.
The course is going around the lake for 13.5 kilometers then do a loop of 2x 3.6 kilometers to complete the distance before long 400 meter up hill slope.

The course has a couple of difficult points:

– distance form central Tokyo which require an overnight stay or a really early start (4:30)
– altitude effect which is difficult to measure.
– some rolling hills, at 6.5K, 43 meters elevation for 1K and then from 14 to turning point.
– hard last 300 meters, sharp up hill surge.

The good points:
– great support from the local habitants, with kids giving candy and also ice cubes at the top of the hill.
– nice view of Fuji if the weather permits (not this year)
– a lot of waterstations with water, aquarius and oranges
– a lot of runners, a very good organization, some fireworks to give the start signal

So I woke up at 4:30, took the second train at Iidabashi at 5:06, boarded one of the last buses to Yamanakako which departed from 5:00 till 5:30.
The road was fine, with some views of the Fuji among the clouds.

I met S. at the race departure at 7:20 and we went to her friends house to relax before the race. When we came back at 9:00, it was quite crowded as the half started at 9:15 and the shorter road race around the lake at 9:30.

We crossed the departure line within two minutes. We then went on along the lake shores. After 4K and 25 minutes, we started to be overtaken by the fast guys from the next race. They were amazingly fast. I missed the 5K point signal and I reached 6K in 37’33 then I walked the entire hill, only to race the downhill as I felt good with my quads.

I kept being passed by fast runners who started 15 minutes later. Then, when we engaged in the fork, we were able to see and support runners finishing the race. I saw a Namban colleague who must finished the half under 1:28. After turning at 17K, Sa. saw me and called. I was already way off my PB, suffering from stomach ache (due to nato maki that I didn’t kept overnight in the fridge but in my running bag. Big mistake), lack of proper training and so on and so forth, so I just slow down to allow her to catch up.

We finished the last kilometers together. I intended to walk the last steep 400 meters but S. was not aware of my tactics and went full speed uphill. I struggled to catch up but we finished together in a(n) {excellent/disappointing/encouraging/fun/joyful} 2:19.

I’ll come back and arrange for accommodation next year.

Return to Tokyo was long and slow as expected, including 30 minutes to get out Yamanakako (1.5 km) and a slow down on the highway around Chofu.

Week: 29 K
Month: 151 K
Year: 789 K


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