Adam and I ran in the Frostbite half marathon today.
I had been up a lot during the nights lately with Scarlett, so a well-rested person I would not be for this race. In addition, the past three weeks prior to race day I was not allowed to train, due to a heart issue the doctors were unsure about. With less than 48 hours to the start time, I was unexpectedly cleared to run the race if I chose to. Since this was my race that I signed both Adam and I up for back around Thanksgiving, I immediately started searching for a babysitter and told Adam I was definitely doing this.
This was by far the most unprepared I have felt for a race yet, somewhat physically but mainly mentally. We carb-loaded last night in preparation. I drank lots of water yesterday to make sure I would be well hydrated for the big event. Adam grabbed our packets early this morning and with a start time of 11am (my favorite time, I’ve decided, to start a race) we strolled up to the starting line, reached down to touch our toes a couple times, and joined the throngs of people inching their way onto the course.
While some minor details leading up to this race were not as planned, the biggest surprise for us was the actual race. The race was located on a nearby base and I had no idea how big of a deal this was for the Japanese people. We expected a few hundred people at the starting line, mainly American military members and their families that came out for a fun run on a beautiful day. How wrong we were.
The base was opened up to the local Japanese people. Now, something you may not know: the Japanese people are serious about their running. They run in full matching gear: tops, bottoms, and even matching shoes at times. And they are quick. My dream that I won the race was quickly diminished.
Just to give you an idea of how today’s race went:
First, there was the Zumba. While waiting around to meet up with a friend, music started blaring and I saw a crowd forming very quickly nearby. Then, I began laughing quite hysterically as thousands of Japanese people began to imitate the Zumba moves the instructors were performing on the center stage. Even the by-standers all readily joined in, pumping arms up and down, swinging hips side to side. It was very comical and helped ease the tension of the 13.1 miles ahead of us.
Next, was the line up for the race to begin. This was not a wave start, as is my preferred method for a big race. Instead, everyone stood in a huge group, bunched together. This wouldn’t mean anything, except Japanese people don’t understand personal space. Adam and I were very thankful for our height which allowed us to breathe our own air, since we are a head above every Japanese person there. Thanks, Dad, for passing down your height to me.
As the time ticked down to the start time, we noticed there were no announcements indicating how things were going to begin. Well, if they had made the announcement earlier, all previous announcements made were only in Japanese anyway. Instead of a typical countdown (san-ni-ich), we only heard a gunshot-like noise and off they went! 3 minutes and 45 seconds later, we finally crossed the line and so began our race (and we were standing toward the front. I don’t know how long it took people in the very back to finally cross the starting line.)
And then, there were the costumes. They varied from: Super Mario, Batman and the Joker, a Robot, Big Foot (he does exist!), a gorilla, Superman, a man running with large flash cards saying “Smile”… the list goes on and on. I have never seen so many different costumes and I’ve run in Halloween races before! Very entertaining.
To say the least, this will be a very memorable race for us. The best part was being able to cross the finish line holding hands with my Love.
Thanks, Adam, for such a great day together! I thoroughly enjoyed running the race with you.