Race History with Race Reviews


Here is my race history, with the most recent race first. My comments should give you a sense of what to expect for each race.


Iheya Village Trail 24K Run
Date: January 28, 2017
Location: Iheya Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:51:07 (10th place overall)
Comments: Although you’ll do a bit of running along regular roads, the route also goes through the mountains, through fields, and along the beach. The route through the mountains was nice and shady, but too steep and bumpy for running--unless you want to risk spraining an ankle. I crashed through one of the logs going across a stream, so you need to be careful. The beach, on the other hand, was too sandy for running, unless you’re more hardcore than me--or most of the other runners. The views along the beach were quite beautiful, but if it’s a sunny day, it can get pretty hot. To do this race, you’ll have to stay overnight, so you might as well attend the post-race party in the evening. Dozens of prizes are given out, so you’ve got a good chance of getting something--though I wasn’t so lucky.

Ginowan 30K Flat Run
Date: January 7, 2017
Location: Ginowan, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:15:00 (with pace group)
Comments: This isn’t a race; it’s a fun, low-key training run done in pace groups. You can choose from groups that run at the following paces: 6 min / km, 6:30 min / km; 7 min / km; 7:30 min /km; and 8 min / km. Everyone is expected to stay with their group. The course is a flat 2K loop near the Ginowan Marina, with the start set up as a rest stop. The groups take a very short break after every two loops. This year, it was cloudy, but there’s little shade, so the weather could get pretty hot. I only had about 5 runners in my group, which was probably about average.

NAHA Marathon
Date: December 4, 2016
Location: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 4:35:33
Comments: They’ve gotten extremely strict about not letting runners into their blocks before the start. I was a little bit late and ended up having to line up at the very end of the pack of 30,000 runners. This year, only 53.2% of the runners even managed to finish, no doubt due to the heat and high humidity. Tor read more about the race, click on the link to go to my NAHA Marathon webpage.

Vermont City Marathon
Date: May 24, 2015
Location: Burlington, Vermont, USA
Time: 3:50:58
Comments: Great memory for my year of studying in Vermont!

Ishigaki Marathon
Date: January 26, 2014
Location: Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:50:30
Comments: Click on the link to go to my Ishigaki Marathon webpage for more information.

Yonaguni Island Marathon
Date: November 9, 2013
Location: Yonaguni Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:15:59
Comments: Needless to say, the toughest thing about this race is getting out to the island. Even though I live in Okinawa, I needed two flights just to get out to Yonaguni. What’s more, the flight from Ishigaki to Yonaguni was about double the cost of the flight from Naha to Ishigaki. Add in the hotel costs and marathon fee, and you’re paying quite a bit for such a small race. On the other hand, Yonaguni is a beautiful island, and the islanders are quite friendly. I only wish I had gone a day earlier, so I could have seen the bullfighting contest, or maybe have done some snorkeling. As for the course, it’s quite challenging, especially the first half, which has numerous steep hills. I found myself walking for several of them. From the second half, however, the course is much easier, and the scenery is quite spectacular, as you look out over cliffs to the ocean. The organizers are also quite generous with the extras: In addition to the customary t-shirt, participants also receive a bottle of 60-proof Yonaguni awamori. You also receive soba, tempura, drinks, and sashimi. The evening party is also one of the best I’ve attended. Great music, traditional dances, a hula dance, and a lively audience all made for a fun evening.

Okinawa Marathon
Date: February 17, 2013
Location: Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:21:56
Comments: Click on the link to go to my Okinawa Marathon webpage. Amazingly, my time was within ONE MINUTE of my NAHA Marathon time!

NAHA Marathon
Date: December 2, 2012
Location: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:22:43
Comments: Click on the link to go to my NAHA Marathon webpage.

Okinawa Marathon
Date: February 19, 2012
Location: Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:34:20
Comments: Not quite as overwhelming as the NAHA Marathon, but the crowd support is impressive. Click on the link to go to my Okinawa Marathon webpage.You can see a record of my running of the course, including the Course Map and Elevation Chart, on my Garmin Connect site.

Nago Half Marathon
Date: February 5, 2012
Location: Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:39:57
Comments: If your only concern is the course itself, this half marathon might be a good choice: in spite of the hills in the middle and towards the end of the course, it's a relatively fast course for Okinawa. If you're looking for a race with "character," a festive atmosphere, lots of spectators, or nice participation prizes, run away from this one. Nago is beautiful, but the city doesn't seem very interested in promoting this race, which is apparently the oldest race in Okinawa. They're just going through the motions now. You can see a record of my running of the course, including the Course Map and Elevation Chart, on my Garmin Connect site.

Eco Island Miyakojima Marathon
Date: November 13, 2011
Location: Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 4:15:27
Comments: Click on the link to go to my Eco Island Miyakojima Marathon webpage for more information.

Camp Kinser Half Marathon
Date: October 23, 2011
Location:
Camp Kinser (M.C.A.S.), Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:42:37
Comments: First, here is a record of my running of the course, including the Course Map and Elevation Chart, which I uploaded from my GPS to my Garmin Connect site. As you can see, the race is not quite a full half marathon (my GPS calculated the distance as being 20.7 KM), due to the fact that virtually all runners cut the corners on the numerous turns. This race is open to the general public but is not advertised in the Japanese media. As a result, most participants are connected to the military, and civilians might feel a bit out of place. Even so, everyone is warmly welcomed, and since the race is a small one (about 400 runners), there are some fringe benefits: a brunch buffet and awards to the top two finishers in various age groups. The course is quite flat, but the total lack of shade makes heat fatigue a real risk. Don't forget your suntan lotion! There are almost no spectators, but the frequent water stops probably saved a few runners from collapse. It's very easy to register on the day of the race (payment in either yen or dollars is okay), but usually there are not enough shirts for those registering on the day of the race, so if you can get on base, register early.

Higashi Hennazaki Turtle 22.8K Marathon
Date: October 9, 2011
Location: Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:08:06 (unofficial time)
Comments: This is a small local race on a remote island, so it should come as no surprise that about ninety percent of the participants live on the island. The course has lots of hills, but none of them are particularly steep. For details on the course (and my running of the race), check out the Course Map and Elevation Chart, which I uploaded from my GPS to my Garmin Connect site. As for the weather, Miyako is rather warm in October, so be sure to be prepared for the heat. The course has some nice scenery and a barely adequate number of water stops. The students running the stops are friendly and polite. On the downside, participants are never given their official times, which is rather annoying. (Apparently, the results are listed in the local paper the next day, but I couldn't find the results on the Internet, nor are they listed on the race home page either.) Another downside is that the roads are not closed down, so we had to run on the sidewalks for much of the course (though the paths were smooth asphalt). Instead of t-shirts, participants get a nicely designed towel. Other than that, there's not much to this race: no post-race party, no awards ceremony, no food. I did love the brown sugar Popsicles, though! Outsiders are pretty much left to fend for themselves, but the lack of crowds means you have the town to yourself--which doesn't mean much, as there isn't much to do in Miyako. After the race, we visited the Ueno German Village, which must have been quite nice twenty years ago, but now it's rundown and practically abandoned--even though there are still some nice exhibits. Don't expect to eat any German food there either; there isn't a single restaurant. My recommendation: don't run this race unless you live on Miyako Island.

Yamaneko Marathon 23K
Date: February 12, 2011
Location:
Iriomote Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:52:14
Comments: The hardest thing about this race was getting there. I flew to Ishigaki, where I spent the night, and then took a 45-minute boat ride to Iriomote on Saturday morning. Because of high waves, I had to go to Ohara port in the south, instead of Uehara port in the north, where the race took place. From Ohara, we had a 40-minute bus ride to the start. The course, however, is an enjoyable one to run: flat and with nice scenery. There's not a lot of crowd support, but there are water stops every 2.5 kilometers, and the island people are very friendly. Since the race is held on Saturday around noon, there's plenty of time to do this race without spending a night on the island. But Iriomote is perhaps the most undeveloped and mysterious island in the prefecture, so I recommend making this a two or three day trip. The boat trip down the Urauchi River and trek to the waterfall is a lot of fun.

Ishigaki Marathon
Date: January 23, 2011
Location: Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:53:34
Comments: Click on the link to go to my Ishigaki Marathon webpage for more information.

NAHA Marathon
Date: December 6, 2009
Location: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:49:37
Comments: Click on the link to go to my NAHA Marathon webpage. Beginning in 2010, the organizers will be limiting the number of runners to 25,000 and raising the cost to 5,500 yen.

Shouhashi Half Marathon
Date: November 2, 2009
Location:
Nanjou City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:04:39
Comments: Touted as the "premier event of Ryukyu," the Shouhashi Half Marathon is one of the most heavily advertised races in the prefecture. Though the race doesn't quite live up to its billing, if you prefer large races with all the amenities that such races offer, you should be pleased. Expect numerous water stops, including supplemental stops set up by generous citizens; decent crowd support, including one of my favorite local jazz bands just past the halfway point; and a huge crowd of friendly runners. In addition, the scenery along the route is quite spectacular, especially during the second half when you run down a bridge over the bay heading into Chinen Village. Finally, the popular black t-shirts are nicely designed and of a nice material, just the type you would want to wear when training. On the downside, access to the site is difficult, so even coming from nearby Naha, it took me over two hours. Car and bicycle access to the start area is restricted. The start of the race is also quite congested, so expect to lose a bit of ground during the first several kilometers. Without a doubt, the biggest shortcoming is the course itself: the first half of the course (except the first few kilometers) is a 150-meter uphill climb, including an especially steep 1.2K long stretch at the 5K mark. If you make it to the halfway point in decent shape, however, you should be able to finish with a good time because the second half is mostly downhill, with just a few small uphills to break up the monotony. The Shouhashi Half is best viewed as an opportunity for a fun run. Forget about the PR; just enjoy the crowd and the scenery, or use the race as a training run for the NAHA marathon.

NAHA Marathon
Date: December 7, 2008
Location: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 4:19:03
Comments: See above!

Shouhashi Half Marathon
Date: November 2, 2008
Location: Nanjou City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:00:36
Comments: See above!

Camp Kinser Half Marathon
Date: October 5, 2008
Location:
Camp Kinser (M.C.A.S.), Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 2:28:15 (about an hour slower than last year!)
Comments: See above!

Miyakojima 100K Wide
Date: January 13, 2008
Location: Miyako Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 10:52:43
Comments: Without doubt, the most difficult event in which I have ever partcipated. Click on the link to go to my Miyakojima 100K Wide Page.


Chubu Trim Marathon--20K Race
Date: November 18, 2007
Location: Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:27:30     Predicted Time: 1:40:00     Time Differential: 0:12:30
Comments: Since participants can choose from various courses (2K, 3K, 5K, 10K, and 20K) and results are based on time differential, this event draws many families and less serious runners. Participants also seem quite interested in the post-race raffle for a trip to Tokyo Disney Land. Unfortunately, you may have to wait a couple hours until the drawing. The 20K course is excellent: perhaps the flattest course in Okinawa. To be honest, the course itself is what I liked most about this race. On the down side, this is a "trim" marathon, so there are few distance markers along the route and watches are banned. In addition, there's hardly any crowd support and not much entertainment. My other two complaints are that 1.) there aren't enough water stops (only three on the course), and 2.) the courses merge together for the last five kilometers, forcing faster runners to weave through mobs of walkers. On the up side, the location of the race, Okinawa Comprehensive Park, is an excellent venue: easy access, extensive parking, and many covered areas to change or to stay out of the rain.

Iheya Moonlight Marathon
Date: October 27, 2007
Location:
Iheya Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 4:10:54
Comments: Apart from the difficulty of getting out to the island, the Iheya Moonlight Marathon is a well-organized and enjoyable race. Click on the link to go to my Iheya Moonlight Marathon Page.

Camp Kinser Half Marathon
Date: October 7, 2007
Location:
Camp Kinser (M.C.A.S.), Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:40:26
Comments: See above!

Shioya Bay Trim Marathon--9.5K Race
Date: April 29, 2007
Location:
Ogimi Village, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 39:48     Predicted Time: 40:00     Time Differential: 0:00:12
Comments: This is a very small event in a very small town, and as you might expect, local runners and families are the heroes. The relatively flat course circles around Shioya Bay, and the scenery is quite beautiful. Though there are few spectators and some lonely spots along the course, several water stops are provided, which is rather unusual for such a short course. In terms of cost, this event is a great deal: the entry fee is only ¥1,500, and all participants receive tickets for lunch and a nice teacup. If you live nearby or just like small races, this would be an excellent choice for you. Even so, I don't think it's worth the trip from Naha.

Nanbu Trim Marathon--20K Race
Date: March 18, 2007
Location:
Itoman City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:27:17     Predicted Time: 1:29:50     Time Differential: 0:02:33
Comments: For a trim marathon, this race draws a pretty big crowd, undoubtedly because of the event's inclusive nature: participants can choose from various courses (5k, 10k, 20K, family, and wheelchair), and since results are based on time differential, everyone has a chance of winning. In addition, there are raffles for trips to Tokyo and Hawaii. The courses are relatively flat, with just a few minor hills mixed in, and numerous waterstops are provided. There are no distance markers along the route at all, which is what one should expect for a trim marathon, I suppose; it's just that other trim marathons in Okinawa do have them. The start area of the race is easily accessible, which is rare in Okinawa: adequate parking is provided and traffic congestion is minimal. If you live in Naha, you shouldn't have any trouble getting to the event in half an hour. There's not a lot of crowd support or entertainment, but the runners are generally enthusiastic and the racing conditions are excellent. I'll certainly do this race again, if only because I can finish the whole thing before noon, and without getting up ridiculously early.

Benoki Dam Trim Marathon--10K Race
Date: March 4, 2007
Location: Kunigami Town, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 43:40     Predicted Time: 40:00     Time Differential: 3:40
Comments: The Benoki Dam Trim Marathon is a low-key race, focused primarily on the local school children who run in the 1.5K and 3K races. The 10K race has fewer than two hundred participants, including some members of the local high school and university track teams. The course weaves through the mountains surrounding Benoki Dam and is extremely hilly. On the other hand, there's a lot of shade, some nice scenery, and a water stop offered just before the midway point. Just the same, don't expect to achieve a personal record on this course. After the race, there are the standard Okinawan concession stands, offering squid soup, Okinawa soba, takoyaki, shaved ice, and other treats. In addition, free horse-back riding (five minutes) is provided for children and adults. Given that the race takes place in the northernmost village on the Okinawan mainland, I recommend visiting some of the tourist sites in the north, such as Cape Hedo. Overall, a pleasant local race with a nice atmosphere, but probably not worth the long drive from Naha--unless you can get in some sightseeing to make the trip worth while.

Nakijin Village New Year Road Race--10K Race
Date: January 2, 2007
Location: Nakijin Village, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 39:32
Comments: With fewer than a hundred participants, the Nakijin New Year Road Race is a lowkey race in a small, rural community. Even so, the event is extremely well organized and strongly supported by the local community. The heroes are clearly the local kids, ranging from first grade through high school, and separate races are held for almost every grade level. This would certainly be a great event to participate in as a family. The 10K race, held for high school students and adults, is also well organized: the course is clearly marked, with distance markers at every kilometer, and volunteers line most of the route. Most importantly, you can run in the middle of the smoothly paved road--in contrast to the Nanjo City New Year Marathon, where you have to run along the side of the road to avoid traffic. The roads aren't actually closed, but the isolated location and large number of volunteers make it possible for the town to give the road over to the runners. The out-and-back course has quite a few hills, but nothing to slow you down. Some extremely talented runners participate, so unless you can run 10K in close to 30:00, don't expect to be among the top finishers. After the race, runners are treated to a big warm bowl of yushidoufu (tofu soup), which I love. For only 500 yen, this is an excellent race to start the new year. Registration is by phone a couple of weeks before the race.

Shouhashi Half Marathon
Date: November 5, 2006
Location: Nanjou City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:37:04
Comments: See above!

Camp Kinser Half Marathon
Date: October 8, 2006
Location:
Camp Kinser (M.C.A.S.), Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:28:36
Comments: See above!

Iejima Half Marathon
Date: April 9, 2006
Location:
Ie Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:31:47
Comments: Ie Island is a perfect place for a half marathon, as the paved coastline road running along the outside of the island is approximately twenty kilometers long. Apart from the short but steep hill at the start and the big hill in the middle of the course (a 60 meter climb from the 8K point until the halfway point), most of this course is downhill and easy to run. I was hoping to finish in under 1:30, but I lost a lot of time battling the hill and the strong headwind in the second half of the race. Some perks of the race include a small bottle of awamori, an all-you-can-eat party the night before the race, and the beautiful scenery. On the downside, the t-shirts are not very nice, there are few spectators, and only water is provided at the water stops. Even so, I recommend this marathon for anyone hoping for a half marathon PR.

Okinawa Marathon
Date: February 26, 2006
Location:
Okinawa City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:12:57
Comments: Not quite as overwhelming as the NAHA Marathon, but the crowd support is impressive. Click on the link to go to my Okinawa Marathon webpage.

Whale Straits Tokashiki Around-the-Island Run -- 20.901K

Date: February 12, 2006
Location:
Tokashiki Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:35:21
Comments: With steep hills including one that climbs 200 meters in 2 kilometers, this is probably the most difficult course in Okinawa. Apart from small stretches at the beginning and end of the race, none of the course is flat and most of the hills are quite steep. The uphills are cancelled (not quite) by the downhills, however, so if you are strong on hills, you can still do well. At the highest points, there are several breathtaking views looking down over the island. If you've been struggling up the hills, however, you probably won't notice--or care. I would recommend using this race for training (for uphills and downhills) or to just go slow and enjoy the sights. Since the island is sparsely populated, there are few spectators, but there are plenty of water stops. Don't forget to take a whale watching boat trip. Apparently, the chances of spotting a whale are quite good. Our boat spotted a couple of whales, one surfacing directly next to our boat.

Ocean Expo Park Trim Marathon -- 19.2K
Date: January 8, 2006
Location:
Motobu Town, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:26:15      Predicted Time: 1:30:00     Time Differential: 3:45
Comments: Unlike other races, where the top prizes go to the fastest runners, a "trim marathon" awards those who come closest to their predicted finishing time. In Okinawa, where most runners are casual ones, these races are quite popular. Needless to say, all watches are banned and distance markers are kept to a minimum (in the 19.2K, a 10K marker and a "4K remaining" marker; in the 5.8K, no markers at all). The event's slogan--"Slow runners are the stars!"--is an apt description, but doesn't quite inspire. Although the start is crowded, the roads are wide, so you'll only be slowed down for the first kilometer or so. Even so, maintaining an even pace will be difficult because very little of the course is level. The first two or three kilometers (leaving the park) are a steady downhill, but you'll have to climb this steep hill at the end. Numerous hills throughout the course, including three bridges, which force you to run uphill on one side and downhill on the other, make this a difficult course. Although there are few spectators, water stations are frequent and are supplemented by locals. Some runners might not like that many of the stops only provide barley tea ("mugicha"). I was more bothered by the fact that there were no water stops on the long stretch on Sesoko Island. I guess I had been spoiled up until that point. If you are running one of the longer distances expect to be blocked by the crowds of people (from the shorter races) walking up the hill at the end. On the positive side, most of the course runs along the coastline, so the scenery is quite beautiful. Another plus is that runners receive nice beach towels instead of the customary t-shirts. Pretty well organized event overall, but all the steep uphills and downhills make this a tough course to run. Probably a good event for casual joggers who want to enjoy the scenery, but more serious runners will probably not be happy. The odd distances don't help either--unless you desperately want a personal record at some unconventional distance.

Chinen Village New Year Race -- 5K
Date: January 1, 2006
Location: Chinen Village, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 20:21
Comments: This is a no-frills race with only slightly over a hundred runners--mostly kids and local people. Given that the race is free, that all runners receive drinks, and that many awards are given out, you can't go wrong with this race. Even so, if you are expecting a big event, or have to travel a far way to participate, you'll probably be disappointed. When I showed up in front of the town hall office at 9:00 o'clock to register, no one was there. I asked around and found out that registration didn't start until 10 o'clock, and that the race didn't start until 12:00! I was originally planning to run the 10K, but the distance turned out to be only 9K, so I decided to do the 5K instead--a distance I had never run before. The 2.5K runners are driven down the road, the 9K runners up the road, and the 5K runners stay in front of the town hall. Then at precisely 12:00, the three guns go off, and all three groups run down the same stretch of road, everyone finishing at the same point. Since there is no traffic control, you have to watch out for passing cars or run along the sidewalk. The course is very easy to run--mostly downhill, with a couple of small uphill stretches mixed in. After the race, there was a small awards ceremony. Great way to start the New Year's!

Kumejima Marathon
Date: October 23, 2005
Location: Kume Island, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:28:46
Comments: One of the best marathons in Okinawa! Click on the link to go to my Kumejima Marathon page.

Camp Kinser Half Marathon
Date: October 9, 2005
Location:
Camp Kinser (M.C.A.S.), Urasoe City, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:40:16
Comments: See above!

Ayahashi Kaichuu Road Race (Half Marathon)
Date: March 27, 2005
Location:
Yonashiro Town, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan (Yonashiro is now part of Uruma City)
Time: 1:39:07
Comments: This might very well be the most beautiful course in all Japan: you run over two bridges that connect three islands, and for much of the race, you are literally over the ocean; the view is truly spectular! The course is rather flat, the only hills being the bridges. The shortcomings of the race are the minimal spectator support and the unpredictable weather. Be prepared for strong cross winds and the possibility of rain.

Nago Half Marathon
Date: February 13, 2005
Location: Nago, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:34:20
Comments: If your only concern is the course itself, this half marathon might be a good choice: in spite of the tough hills in the middle and towards the end of the course, it's a relatively fast course for Okinawa. If you're looking for a race with "character," a festive atmosphere, lots of spectators, or nice participation prizes, run away from this one. Nago is beautiful, but the city doesn't seem very interested in promoting this race, which is apparently the oldest race in Okinawa. They're just going through the motions now.

NAHA Marathon
Date: December 5, 2004
Location: Naha, Okinawa Prefecture, Japan
Time: 3:33:39
Comments: There are a couple of tough hills, but the spectator support is truly overwhelming. Click on the link to go to my NAHA Marathon webpage.

Sakurajima Half Marathon
Date: March 7, 2004
Location: Sakurajima, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:39:25
Comments: Beautful scenery, a relatively flat course, and great participation gifts make this a good half marathon. All participants get a big bag of goodies, including a free ticket to the nearby onsen, mikans, an attractive t-shirt, and a special gift for foreigners. The lack of specatators and performances, however, prevent this from being a great race instead of just a good one.

Tsuno Half Marathon
Date: February 11, 2004
Location: Tsuno, Miyazaki Prefecture, Japan
Time: 1:37:32
Comments: A rather low-key race with few spectators and little character. The highlight, I suppose, is that you receive a bottle of Tsuno wine. Be sure to visit the winery, too.

Virginia Beach Rock 'N' Roll Half Marathon
Date: August 31, 2003
Location: Virginia Beach, Virginia, USA
Time: 1:45:21
Comments: With over a dozen bands lining the route and thousands of specatators, this race is loads of fun. The summer heat can kill you, though, so don't just rely on the water stops. A great race for beginners or runners who just want to enjoy the atmosphere.

Kushira Sakura Matsuri 10 Kilometer
Date: April 6, 2003
Location: Kushira, Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan
Time: 46:10
Comments: More of a family event than a serious race, but if what you really enjoy is the post-race beer, then this is a great choice for you. The event is held at Heiwa Park, which is one of the best places for hanami (or "cherry-blossom viewing") in the area. Be sure to bring your picnic basket.


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