May 10, 2009

A fun ekiden

The past week was highlighted by the Inagi Ekiden on Wednesday.

Mon: 10k. Easy in 58:46. Legs heavy. American School on holiday.

Tues: AM - Xtrng (weights and abs).
4:00 - 3.9k on the track. 900m and 300x 2 with kids at moderate pace. Taking it easy for tomorrow. Steady rain.

Wed: Inagi Green Ekiden. Inagi is out on the Keio line, about 45 mins. from Shinjuku (the outer edge of central Tokyo). A nice little ekiden, 4 people on a team, each person running 3k. Namban Rengo had one team in the mixed open division (3 guys and one woman) and one team in the mixed masters (2 men and 2 women). I ran anchor on the masters team. There were 17 teams in our division and maybe 60 in the other, and then another 80 in the open division.
It had been raining early, then stopped, then started again just as the race started...but not very hard. Our team came in 7th, I was 3rd fastest on the anchor leg. I felt good and ran pretty well, felt like I was going very fast, however, the people I was passing (in both masters divisions) were mostly pretty slow. Time was 12:01, which seems so slow (4:00/k) that I was sure the course was long, but Brett and Paddy, who ran faster on the other team, felt that that was caused by the many sharp turns and the several hills, one of which was about 500m long and about 300m from the finish. Anyway, it was a good effort and a fun race. The other team came in 2nd, with Brett having the fastest time on the anchor leg of any division.

Thurs: 6k. 3,000m on the track with Wynne in 12:57. Just cruising and not even winded at the end. Again, causing me to question the 12:01, but...who knows?
Rain all day again. Apparently, this is because we are getting the effects of a typhoon out at sea.

Fri: 15k. Rain in morning (did not feel like going out to the gym), but nice when I ran at 5:00 (but humid).
1:07:51 (24:14, 22:41, 20:55). Last 5k, which I intended to push, especially the last 3k, in 4:23/23/07/07/3:55. So the last 3k was 12:09. So I can run 12:09 on a training run, after a decent 12k. Anyway....  I felt pretty good.

Sat: HS track finals with all schools in the league (about 8). Great meet, both the ASIJ boys and girls won. Lots of great, gutsy performances, including some school and league records by our kids. Our main boy, Sam Krauth, ran 1:59 and 4:14 (1500). Good times, especially considering it was hot and windy. Jen Stolle ran 2:23 and ??, a fast 1500. Wynne won the 3,000 in 12:04. Arisa, after having trouble breathing the last 3 laps of the 3,000, managed to hold on for 2nd and completely collapsed at the end. (Fortunately, I realized she was going to and ran to the finish line in time to catch her.) She then CAME BACK to finish 4th in the 1500 and run a fast 400 on the 4 x 400m relay team, which broke the league record! (The anchor girl, Gwen Thornton, runs a 57 400. And she's a great hurdler, I expect her to be a good NCAA division one hurdler, remember that name.) Like I said, lots of gutsy performances. High school kids are tough when they are motivated, and are really fun to watch.

Sun: 7.3k. Easy run in 40:09 (5k in 27:04, 5:25/k). Plan to run fairly hard with the top HS boys tomorrow. Although Saturday was the finals, next Saturday is an invitational meet, with all the regular schools, as well as some from Okinawa and other parts of Japan (military schools), so the kids are still practicing next week.

Week: 50.3k


  1. That 20.55 for the third 5 Km is very impressive. Your training seems to be going well.

  2. I'll remember the name. When she runs 57 for the hurdles she'll be something to look out for.

    I'm confused about the 3k anchor leg. I thought Ekidens were over the marathon distance. Anyway, definitely sounds long or very hard - slower pace than your 5k track time trial.

  3. No, ekidens can be any distance. The international ones are usually marathon distance, but others vary widely. The most popular one in Japan (in the world) is Hakone, the New Year's college ekiden, which is 120km from Tokyo to Hakone, near Mt. Fuji, and back again.