August 24, 2013

I DNF the Tokyo Marathon

Apart from visiting friends and revisiting the city I love, I went to Japan with a mission.

Yup... to run my first World Marathon Majors!

After refreshing myself at the hostel, off I went to Tokyo Big Sight in Ariake for the Tokyo Marathon Expo. The Expo was a warm up event for the marathon with a lot of activities which were of interest to the participants and the general public. It also served as a check-in point for the runners, where we needed to pick up our running bibs and other essentials.

I felt a surge of excitement as soon as I entered the hall. I mean, this is a world marathon major yo! The entrance is also quite difficult as the organizer controls the number of runners to participate every year. There were more than 300,000 applicants this year and I was one of the lucky 30,000 runners to get a spot in the event.

Went to pick up the running bib first.

Everything went smoothly here as the staffs were very helpful. All of them were very excited when I came to their booths to collect my things. I think they were proud that we gaijin travel from all around the world to support an event in their country. 

Afterwards, I headed to the adjacent Expo. 

So happening with booths from various brands filling in the hall.

There's performance and games too.

On marathon day, one of my former bosses accompanied me to the starting point in Shinjuku to support me! I already told him not to come while we were having my welcome dinner a couple of days before since there would be a lot of people that day but he insisted. He even waited at the JR station nearest to my hostel so that we could go together to Shinjuku. Such hospitality! *touched T__T 
Runners came dressed in every creative way they could think of.  
Can you imagine he ran 42.195km like this? In less than 10°C cold weather some more.
Despite all the excitement, alas... it was a sad ending for me. I was forced to stop running at KM30 checkpoint as I failed to pass it before the cut-off time. I was late for less than a minute! T__________T
The time limit for the marathon was 7 hours but they enforced a cut-off time every 5 km due to limited duration of traffic control, security operation and event operation.
If following my pace, I wasn't lagging that much. My time was slightly more than 4 hours when I reached the checkpoint. But it wasn't enough cos I started the marathon about 30 minutes late from gun time due to the starting block, where they flagged off the runners batch by batch due to the large number of runners. 
I guess it was my fault too. I didn't pay much attention to the cut-off time cos I didn't think they would be so strict. Plus, I concentrated on my own time. I thought I was doing OK with my pace. Well.. lesson learnt! Run faster la dey!!
It was really heart-breaking when the officials closed the route and redirected me and all other runners behind me to the side. They took away our running bibs and escorted us to the waiting bus. As we boarded the bus, I saw some of the local runners cried. I think I understood their pain. It wasn't easy for the locals to get the chance to run. Seeing them cried, I thought of my fate too. I travelled this far for nothing?! I disappointed myself and many other friends who supported me. Thinking of that, tears slowly rolled down my cheeks. Wuuuuu....    
It was indeed very sad that I couldn't finish the run. But on a brighter note, I would be going to Japan again next year. Registered myself as soon as the registration opened earlier this month. Hopefully I'll get the spot! Have to settle this unfinished business. haha...
Wanna join me? Register here.


aziahmk said...

hai rara, akak ada sent an email, mintk u check nanti ye...tq

BibiErr Karim said...

Salute u for participating. I don't even have the guts to register tau. Although u didn't make it to the finish line, u went for it. That gave u loads of points.

Best of luck next year!

rara said...

BibiErr: Thanks babe! Hopefully I'll get the spot. Kena tunggu end of Sept baru tau.

@nannoor said...

hi rara,

i pun bergenang airmata baca entry u ni. sedihnyaaa kena DNF tapi takpe, it means, re-visit tokyo marathon kan? Come back stronger!
All the best.

rara said...

@nannoor : thanks! yup.. re-visit Tokyo marathon. like I said, have to settle the unfinished business.. hehe..

Xiao Qiang said...

Wow, I wish to join it in next or next 2 years but i heard its hard to get selected and if too early to book plane to Tokyo for marathon and didn't selected kinda wasted..
So they have give any tshirts for marathon or finisher tshirt for finish a marathon?
Such a cold weather for Malaysia people is it will not used to it?

rara said...

@Xiao Qing: I think for first timers (foreigners) it's quite easy to get an entry. Registration opens in August and you will know the lottery result by September so can buy ticket after that. As for the t shirts, you have to buy it! Yeah.. it's kinda cold running in winter but I like it, unlike Malaysia's hot and humid weather. hehe..