2022 Matsusaka Marathon Trip

2022/12/17: Moving to Matsusaka

After gearing up for the trip, I made one last shopping run to buy bananas and tomatoes before leaving. Turned off the power to appliances, put my mask on, and carried my bag to Kachigawa station. It was under slight rain but did not bother me during the short walk. By the time when crossing the gate, I only had three minutes before train's departure, so as I was moving up the escalator, the train departing at 15:44 was coming in to the platform.

I took a seat in a fairly new car, and there were less people today, which I calculated for to avoid moving after 5:00pm in crowded condition. The train arrived at the Nagoya station at 16:03 on time, now I have 7 minutes to change the train. I dragged my bag to Kintetsu gate, walked to automatic vending machine and selected a reserved seat. When I passed the gate, I had only two minutes until departure, I do not like feeling of being rushed especially when I have to run 42km tomorrow. I am glad I was able to take a seat.

The train was not carrying much people, maybe 20 people per car. The outside is cloudy, and with some light rain, I watched as it gets darker every minute. The train stopped at Kuwana, Yokkaichi, and several more stations before arriving at Matsusaka at 17:16 on time. Getting outside of the car and I can tell it is cold.

Arrived at Matsusaka

The rain was falling lightly, and before leaving the station I bought a returning ticket for tomorrow, I selected 18:00 departure one, then walked to a gift shop nearby to buy items. All I am doing is I will be exhausted when I finish and have no energy left on those. I dragged my bag to a hotel where I made a reservation. I checked in around 5:40pm, settled in the room very quick.

Hotel Room

I then began searching for a restaurant allows me to takeout the dinner. I found one which serves fried pork cutlets called Shigeton so I walked to the place and ordered the meal. The inside was about half full, some people drinking and chatting in groups so I think I decision was good. Carried packages under light rain back to my room. Dinner was over by 8:00pm and I began repacking gears for tomorrow, doing a final check on my gears and bags. Going to bed around 10:00pm. I do not like watching TV.

My dinner; Curry with fried pork cutlet

2022/12/18: Race Day

Waking up around 5:30am but I stayed in the bed until 6:00am. I stretched my body, took a shower, had breakfast I brought from home, and checked out at 7:30am.
The race started from 9:00am on time but the wind started to catch up around the same time.
Getting on the train leaving at 4:30pm, it was a quiet ride with almost full seat.

I woke up around 5:30am as usual, I guess I cannot miss this routine. Stayed in the bed until 6:00am, looked outside where is still dark. I stretched my body, get ready for the marathon. I ate breakfast which I brought from home. which is also my routine; cereals, yogurt, and a banana with a pack of vegetable juice. I took a shower, geared up for the run, and finished packing then checked out the room at 7:30am, giving my bag t the clerk for the day so I do not need to pay 300Yen at drop off location. There were already people moving toward the staging area constantly so I followed them quietly while feeling the cold air of the morning. I wonder how much this will get warmer during the run. I have arrived at the location by 8:00am. The weather is sunny, and the wind is already breezy and still cold.

At the start

I lined up to my block after dropping off my gear bag around 8:20am, and I have 40 more minutes before the race. I start see more people gathering. Many made choices wearing a disposable poncho like me. Right before the race, I started to hear announcements in a distance. It was not that clear but I know there are some popular people speaking including former Olympians from Mie Prefecture. The race began at 9:00am sharp. My group joined the line and crossed the start line about 8 minutes into the race. Air is still very cold so I guess I will stick with wearing a poncho for another while.

The course travelled on GPS

Making left to head north to Route 166, where is a part of Intercollege Ekiden Race usual held in November. I was still cold after 5km so I decided to keep my poncho on. The path continued back to Matsusaka station, before heading west to. Bell Farm outside. It was a head wind and sometimes. I could not get any shield from the strong wind, and the road was a little up hill. They served a hot tea with rice crackers so it was simply a savior for runners under freezing condition. Approaching 20km mark, where is located in an open field, running cold under strong wind. I see some people running with shorts and short sleeve shirt, good for them. Arriving at 24km where I was supposed to get to eat Matsusaka beef, but they were already sold out. I was so disappointed. I grabbed a handful of chocolate and kept eating them to keep me warm, and enough energy to finish, but I know I am heartbroken, no beef. From here on, the road is mostly uphill gaining about 50m. There is another stop around 30km mark, where they serves hot beef soup which was a encouragement for me. I headed into the first tunnel which is still uphill. There is a short winding section before getting into the next tunnel which is illuminated with projectors which was nice and the road now start going down so I began to catch my pace. Making left again and on the rural road before began running along Kushida River. Back on the regular road again and began heading to north to the 40km, and I noticed that I can finish much faster than the 7 hours I expected. That's a good news and got me motivated. Making a U turn and only 2 km more. The last part is a steep uphill to the park, decorated with school kids' painting alongside and now I can see the finish line.

On the course


After finishing, I have received a finisher's towel, and a medal. I get my chip removed by a volunteer then proceeded to pick up my gear bag. Since the goal is located at high ground, wind was so strong and taking my body heat. Lined up for the shuttle bus back to Matsusaka. The line was about 100m and took me 30 minutes to get on the bus. Inside, everybody wears mask and quiet, using their smartphone. The bus moved along the traffic, and backed at Matsusaka station at 3:40pm.

I was initially planning to take 18:07 train back to Nagoya, but since I finished the race early, I decided to go home sooner so I changed the ticket to 16:30 train. I walked back to the hotel to pick up my bag, and returned to the station at 4:20pm. I had enough time to have a quick meal, and drink plenty of water before getting on board

Train to go back to Nagoya

The train left at 4:30pm, the outside was still bright but by the time arriving at Nagoya, it was completely under dark. I walked out from the car and passed the gate, switching to JR Chuo line which the next train at 17:48 is departing. Dragging up the bag with strained legs was not an easy job but I wanted to make it. The train was filled with just enough people to take all seats, and I get off at Kachigawa at 18:07,

I hurried home with my bag. My room was at 8C, so I turned on the heater. The next thing I did was to start laundry to wash all the gears I used, then followed by a shower to get refreshed. My dinner was done quick, and took out laundry by 8:30pm, relaxed a little then setup bed and fell sleep around 10:00pm.


Finisher's towel and a medal

Cost:  31,709Yen

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