Oita International Marathon… let’s not talk about it.
Well, I guess I will, but I don’t really want to… I was looking forward to having a fast marathon course, with lots of great competition, and good weather. But it started raining just as I was heading out to warm up.. so I knew this may not yield the Canadian Record performance I was ready for. I thought I was fairly ready for the rain, but had some glove problems early on.. the slipping caused more lactic build up than usual, and so I lost the lead pack after several kms, pushed on my own for the next several before I caught Kota Hokinoue and Roger Puigbo who also dropped off.. we worked together for a few kms, and then the rain started to really come down in between 25 and 30k, and I lost all grip. Kota dropped us, and Roger, last year’s third place winner, had troubles as well and fell off behind me. I was useless and was soon overtaken by the pursuing group. I was so frustrated, and so close to quitting, but decided to finish it. I was not too happy. Kota ended up passing a few people and finished 6th. I finished 16th, in 1:39:30 something. Not too happy considering what I could have and would have achieved had there not been rain, or had I not had glove issues.. but such is life. Take what you can from it and move on.
On a plus note, Japan is beautiful, the people are beautiful, I love it here. The race was extremely well organized, and the kindergarten school visit was the highlight of my trip.. they truly filled my heart and soul with some joy to last me months… cutest, most polite kids in the world. Looking forward to coming back, better race experience next time.