About 2000 people gathered in Hasami, to run marathons. Hasami is famous for its beautiful ceramics and the marathon was the start of the pottery festival this season. There were many categories; a 3kilometres maraton for children, one for high school students and a 10Kilometres marathon for everyone who wanted to enter. As a first time entrant, training for me had only begun on the ground after school a few months ago.i.e. 2.5 kilometres in 15 minutes so I estimated that I would complete the race in 1 hour. The starting time was 10:15 and the bus arrived in Hasami at 9:40. In preparation, warm up stretces in the last 20 minutes of the one hour ride was a practical thing to do.
After arriving at the Hasami Interchange, it took about 10 minutes to walk to the starting point, Hasami tycan (gym). There, everyone was in full gear and ready to run. The 3 kilometres children's race had just begun and spirits were very high. Next it was our turn. The gun went off and we started running. I was at the back of the pack but I didn't care. The goal for me wasn't to win, it was to complete the race in the time I had set for myself. Just ahead of me, it was so beautiful to see a pair, apparently a father and son, with their hands joined with a band as they pulled each other along and kept pace. They appear to be seasoned marathon runners.
At the 3 kilometres mark I felt good and said "Yes, I can do it". Then there was a small slope which was the most challenging part. However, after I had decided that I was not going to stop for any reason, everything else was easy. Stopping was the easy thing to do. We passed some people who had stopped running and were walking. Running along pass the beautiful hills and rice fields was so enjoyable. Why stop.? At the 5 kilometres mark they offered water but I grabbed a cup and took two gulps while running. All along the way there were people standing and cheering "Ganbatte!" (fight!). I reached the finish line after an hour and 10 minutes and was really proud of myself. I am looking forward to reducing the time when I run in the next marathon in Obama in November. You can do it too!! Anette