11th Osaka Marathon

11th Osaka Marathon

This is another marathon blog penned by Geoffrey.  Please contact me if you are interested in knowing more about anything related to this Marathon event.

Over to Geoffrey …

This was my 19th marathon since my first one way back in 2009.  I have plans to complete a further 3 more in 2024.  I’ve had had a rather chequered history with regards to injury so it’s going to take some careful management if I’m to complete this goal.  As it transpired, I nearly tripped at the first hurdle and I was lucky just to make the finish line at Osaka…

 I’ve had my sights on Osaka for many years  when the event was established in 2011.  Since then it has grown to be the 2nd largest marathon in Tokyo and the 8th largest in the world with 30,000 finishers.

Pre-Race

I had big expectations for a great event as the training had gone well; I was injury and niggle free with no other health concerns.  However that all started to unravel on the long-haul flight from Auckland where I picked up a chest infection.  It appeared only minor and I should have started the antibiotics straight away but I was hoping it would clear.  However moving from a summer climate to a winter one and the forecast was for rain and low single-digit temperatures. To get to the race expo involved a long walk in the rain from the train station and in the excitement of the event I didn’t appreciate the effect on my deteriorating condition.

The expo was very crowded as to be expected on opening day and there was a long wait in the cold to get inside.  We spent only about an hour inside before making the wise decision to take an Uber back to the apartment rather than take the train as we had arrived.

Race day

Race Day weather started off cold and wet and so it transpired.  Virtually everyone wore a plastic clear rain poncho and many ran the whole marathon without taking it off.   The rain actually stopped so the conditions ended up pretty good in the end.  It was great meeting up with my friends Rebecca and Graeme at the start and then seeing Rich on the course.  Rebecca and Graeme completed Seville Marathon the previous week and were running Tokyo the following week!!

I knew this would be a tough day as soon as I started running.  The strategy was to start slow and then take stock of my condition at the half-way point.  At the gun my heart rate immediately raced to 160 bpm  even though I was pacing at a leisurely 6:30min/km.  I’ve experienced this before, and it normally occurs in cold temperatures but it usually settles down after a few minutes.  However, it was still racing after 15 minutes and after I picked up the pace up slightly to 6:15min/km my heart rate exploded to over 180bpm.  At 6:15min/km my heart rate is 120 bpm so this was alarming.  Finally after 30 minutes the heart rate settled down but by then I was definitely off my stride and was feeling a lot less comfortable than I would have expected.

I passed the half-way point at 2hr 11min which was 6min behind my target time.   Of more concern was that I was already starting to feel fatigued and already beginning to struggle.  At 32km I was very tired and felt dizzy and considered withdrawing.  I walked a little then  slowed right down and managed to get back to some sort of rhythm and made the finish line.

It was a disappointing run but I was very happy to have finished.  The weather obviously didn’t help and I really wasn’t able to appreciate the surroundings.   The silver lining was that my legs hadn’t taken the pounding they normally would have so I was spared the stiffness that normally follows days after a hard event.

It took a further week after the event for the chest infection to clear …

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