As in last year, I have participated in the Okinawa Marathon this year. The only goal is to surpass my last year’s record. Last year was the my first full marathon challenge, so I ran without any experience. But this year, I’ve practiced a little, taking advantage of last year’s experience and mistakes, so before running I thought I could at least exceed last year’s record. Before the start, I was enjoying the atmosphere of the festival just before the marathon, with a little tension before starting. Participants gather one after another.
The 2020 Okinawa Marathon was held on February 16 (Sun). The weather at the start was sunny, the temperature is 23°C, the humidity was more than 90% and it was quite hot. This year was a pretty warm winter, but still quite a bit hot. Just being exposed to the sun will drain our physical strength. The Okinawa Marathon has a lot of support and offers along the road, so I did not plan to run with water this year. However, it was expected that I would sweat a lot in this heat, so I decided to run with water again just before this year. It was just before the start. The sun was hot.
Last year was the my first time to participate in the full marathon, so I started from the end, but this year I upgraded to the group a little earlier. Wait for the 9 o’clock start.
Let’s start the Okinawa Marathon. The wind direction was the south wind of the tailwind, and I would do my best.
This is about 2 km from the start. You can see the beautiful sea of Okinawa on the right hand side. Even so, it was so hot … this winter was quite tough in the winter of February. Immediately after running, sweat began to erupt from my forehead. Although I was running at my usual pace, I didn’t think that sweat would come out so quickly.
Around 5㎞, I began to feel discomfort in my left knee. When I ran 20 km in practice, I felt a little pain in my left knee, but I didn’t think I felt pain in my left knee so quickly.
I slowed down a bit and drove to the first watering station while watching my situation.
After all, it was a very hot condition, so there were quite a lot of runners going to get water. I also received two glasses of water and hydrated. Then, bend my knees a little and watched my condition. However, unfortunately at this point, I felt pain in my knees. I didn’t think I would feel any sick at this point, even though I had more than 35㎞ left. I wanted to exceed last year’s record, but I changed my goal to finish the race and decided to continue running without giving up.
This is the first slope after 11km of Okinawa Marathon. At this point, I had already felt enough knee pain, so I decided to walk here. Last year I ran lightly, but I was quite disappointed.
Around 15 km, which was on a gentle slope for a while after climbing the slope, rain clouds began to spread suddenly and squalls began to fall at once. The direction of the wind also changed from a warm wind from the south to a cold north wind, and the temperature dropped at a stretch. The weather forecast predicted that it would rain halfway, but it did rain at once. My whole body was drenched and the perceived temperature dropped considerably. I think the temperature probably dropped about 5 degrees, but the heat I had just felt cold as a lie.
It became cold at a stretch, but it was hard to keep the heat as before, so I thought this helped a little in running. As expected, my body did not stay in the heat like winter in the early summer. Please note that the photos after this are a little white and the image quality is bad because my smartphone glass was wet by the rain.
I couldn’t get any pain in my knees, and on the contrary I was getting more and more injured, but I ran and walked and managed to finish. I managed to get to the middle point. Last year, I was sorry that I still had enough strength. But I didn’t have to give up on the other half.
And this is the longest slope of the Okinawa Marathon’s largest memorial ground, at around 27 km. At this point my knee had hurt and I couldn’t continue running for 1km. I gave up on this uphill, and continued walking while swinging my arms. After this slope, you will find the Okinawa Marathon’s greatest attraction, the Kadena Base of the United States Army. At marathons in Japan, only in the Okinawa Marathon you can run in U.S. military bases.
This is before the entrance to Kadena Air Base. The photo was white because it was raining. At the entrance was the support of the American military children Acer dance. I was happy to support this. Cheerful support from U.S. military personnel pushed our backs inside the base despite the rain. High touch was much stronger than Okinawan people (laughs). My knee pain was at its limit, but I was running and walking at my own pace.
After leaving Kadena Air Base, it was finally over 32 km. Last year my knee was at the limit at this point, but this year it had already exceeded my knee limit. However, only 10 km is left. So far I’ve been running and walking 20km with my knee pain. I did my best a little more with the support of the roadside.
We have gone beyond Rycom Okinawa and have only 5km left. All that remains was a steep descent. So far I had been with my knee pain for as much as 30 km. I didn’t expect this to be a marathon, but I can’t afford to come this far. I squeezed my last last power and ran.
And somehow the goal. Please don’t listen to my record as it’s pretty sad. I didn’t think that my knee would hurt after 5km, so it was Okinawa Marathon where I felt more frustrated than feeling full. I would like to diet a little more and revenge next year.
About Okinawa Marathon
Okinawa Marathon is the only marathon event in Japan that allows you to run inside the U.S. military base. It became my second participation. I was backed by this year’s roadside support and was able to finish the race with my knee pain. In addition to water and sports drinks, there were really various kinds of supplies such as brown sugar, candy, sea grapes, dried plums, salt, jelly, chocolate, yam pie, fried chicken, Okinawa soba, and yushi-dofu. Thanks to the people who supported us along the road, I ran through this year without giving up. Thank you very much. It was a painful marathon with my knees hurting, but thanks to the support from the roadside, I was able to work hard without giving up until the end.
Here are some examples of roadside support. The cherry blossoms were beautiful in February.
- Address: Zip904-2173 Hiyagon 5-3-1, Okinawa city, Okinawa
- Telephone: 098-938-0088
- Time: 16 Febrary
- Price: 10㎞ course is 3,700 yen for general, 2,200 yen for high school students, 6,000 yen for full marathon
- HP link：Click here for Okinawa Marathon homepage
The venue for the Okinawa Marathon is here ↓
If you want to know recommended sightseeings in Okinawa
Since you are coming to Okinawa traveling a lot, you want to know the shops and spots that local people only know. This book is a little different from the ordinary guidebook, and the local recommend these books. Every book has many pictures and it is easy to understand. It is recommended.
※If you click on the image you can buy it directly from Amazon Japan