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After all it was a great big world with lots of places to run to

December 1, 2012

First off, thanks to everyone who donated to Movember.  I raised over $300, so thanks a lot!

Thankfully I no longer have my ‘stache and people have been treating me better.


I’ve been in Fukuoka for a week now and it’s a much bigger place with much more to see than I thought.  I was here back in 2006 for the World XC championships but our hotel was not in the middle of the city and it was one of those trips where everything is organized.  Because I’m travelling by myself and on my own schedule I’ve been discovering, wandering and checking out a lot of stuff.

In the past few days I’ve been eating my meals with other english speaking athletes which is a nice change from the first few days on my own here in Fukuoka.  After everyone leaves on Monday I’ll be on my own again until I get to Zhuhai, China on December 14th.

The Fukuoka marathon organizers are taking great care of me and everything is run with precision.  The weather for tomorrow’s marathon looks like it should be pretty good.  Maybe even good enough to tempt me into finishing, not really though, I’m not ready for a full marathon right now.  It’s going to be fun to help out a bunch of athletes, get in a good workout and then get back to the finish and watch the end of the race.  With so many good athletes here it’s going to be an exciting race to watch.

I usually write a blog on Sunday or Monday but I’m not sure how much time I’ll have tomorrow and Monday looks really busy between getting a Visa for China, moving hotels and training.  Maybe I’ll write a quick race update if I get the chance and put it right here ->

POST-RACE UPDATE: In the morning I left the hotel for a 2km shake-out and realized conditions were perfect.  It was about 7C (it got up to 10C for the race) with very little wind (it picked up slightly but I would take those conditions ANY day).  I started to entertain thoughts of finishing. About an hour before the race I asked the elite athlete coordinator if I was allowed to finish, he said yes.  Then I did my warm-up and I ran 4km, which is more than twice what I do before a marathon so I was not really thinking of finishing.  Once the race started I got into nice a rhythm early on and ran pretty consistent splits.

I was pacing Scott Overall, Andrew Lemoncello and Ryan Vail.  We wanted 3:05-3:06/km.  I hit 31:04 for 10km and then 30:54 for the next 10km.  20km was all I was planning on running but I felt so relaxed I thought I might as well get to halfway.  We hit halfway in 65:23, which was a tad slow.  And then I decided to stay in until 22km.  And then I decided I would take them a little further if there was a headwind around the corner.  There wasn’t really a headwind around that corner but I figured I’d help them out a little more.

I thought for sure I’d call it at 25km but then I made a quick calculation and figured if I picked it up a bit I could dip under 2:10:00 and I was feeling great.  The problem was (other than not training for a marathon, not tapering and leading the whole way) I had only just started to sip on bottles.  At 26km I decided in my head if I hit 30km in 1:32:30 I would shoot for sub 2:10. By then it was just Ryan Vail and myself.  At 30km I saw 1:33:00 and realized I would have to run, something like, 3:01/km to get the Canadian record.  I turned to Ryan and said I was going to pick up the pace and see if 2:10 was possible. He wished me luck and I told him he’d most likely see me on the side of the road pretty soon.  I picked up the pace for 2 minutes and realized 3:01/km was not sustainable.  I didn’t think it was worth it to run anything slower than 2:10:55 so I called it a day.

There was a bus waiting back at the 30km mark so I made my way over to the bus with a couple of Kenyan pacers from the lead pack.  The bus had to wait until the last runner crossed the 30km mark before it started driving.  Here is where Fukuoka is truly an elite race. For starters, the qualifying time is 2:42:00.  During the race they take people off the course who are running slower than 2hr 45min marathon pace.  At about the 2 hour mark you could see the last runner, with busy civilian traffic behind him.  I saw a couple of runners taken off the course and then an official ripped up the 30km timing mat and the traffic just rolled on through, 100m behind the last runner.  It was quite a sight.  Then I had a looong bus ride back to the stadium.

Let’s hope I didn’t beat up my legs too much for the 1/2 marathon in 2 weeks.  They feel decent right now and I even managed a 2km cool-down.

We’ve been finding it a challenge to read menus and order food here.  Many of the restaurants have food displays and when we can we’ll just point.  The fake food displays are plastic but they look very real.



At night these temporary restaurants pop up on the street.  They are tents that are absolutely rammed with people.  There is a little gas powered kitchen off of them.



Pretty sure this is not a North American chain.


Pumpkin ice cream is good. Not sure if we have it in NA?


Black cotton swabs (Q-tips).


  1. Paul permalink
    December 2, 2012 6:23 pm

    When’s the next marathon gonna be?

  2. December 3, 2012 11:26 am

    Love this blog post and keep us updated on your travels.


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