Tokushima International Charity Fun Run
This past Sunday morning was the 7th annual Tokushima International Charity Fun Run (a.k.a. – a marathon). Over 200 residents of Tokushima took part in the event. Although hard core running enthusiasts would never consider 10 kilometers (6.21 miles) a marathon, but for me this was the closest to the real deal as I’m ever going to get. After paying the 2000\ fee to charity (about 20.00 US dollars), we were given an official number and a map of the course. The day’s conditions couldn’t have been better. Running along side the beautiful Tsukimigaoka seaside in Matsushige town I set off with only one goal, not to stop. I began the race strong and ahead of my peers only to later watch the only other two male ALTs pass me. As these two slowly left my view, I looked for other motivations to keep going. I focused on staying in front of the female ALTs and to keep pace with this little Japanese woman wearing the number 176. It was back and forth between me and 176 the entire race. It was clear to me she was a hard core runner in her youth, probably a university champion or a former Olympian or something. She had all the signs that told me she’s been down this excruciating road before, but what really gave it away was she kept looking at her watch, which told me she owned one of those fancy watches with a stop watch feature. As she was clearly out for her best time, I was focused on my getting my first. In the final turn while running on fumes, I kicked in my nitro to finish just ahead of her with a time of 1 hour 4 minutes. There is no greater feeling of accomplishment than running and finishing in an organized running event such as this, it’s even more rewarding when you can do it for charity. (and beating that woman who was probably the greatest national athlete of her time… well, that’s just icing on the cake).
Note: see Tokushima Sports album for more pictures.