Japanese Self-Defense Force Marathon
This past Sunday, I ran in the Japanese Self-Defense Force Marathon in Matsushige, Tokushima. The J.S.D.F. is the military force in Japan established after the end of the post-World War II American occupation of Japan. For most of the post-war period, the defense force was confined to the islands of Japan and not permitted to be deployed abroad. In recent years, they have been engaged in international peacekeeping operations, including a controversial humanitarian tour of duty in Iraq. The J.S.D.F. Marathon falls far short of a full marathon of 42.195 km or 26 miles; however, these local “fun-run” events in Japan are widely referred to as “marathons,” not to mention it sounds professional to us novice runners… Although I don’t enjoy running for exercise, these runs are great for conditioning… As I do every year following the beginning of Spring, I make a strong push to get in shape for Tibetan basketball tournaments I play in annually back home. This summer my team will be gunning for our 7th North American Tibetan basketball championship in Madison, Wisconsin (U.S.A.). More on that after I return from my trip home in July! Back to the J.S.D.F. Marathon… this event was a 10 km run on the Matsushige base with approximately 300 hundred runners… The competition was stiff this year, but through perseverance and a lot of determination I was able to win first place!!.. barely edging out two wonder sisters who gave me a real run for my money… See the award ceremony picture below! More pictures in my Tokushima Sports album!