Tokyo Marathon: The Gauntlet Thrown Down

thousands line up for chance to spend four to six hours running in cold weather.  With any luck come February, I will join them in taking a long, slow jog around Tokyo, swearing at the cold. Until several weeks ago, the Tokyo Marathon seemed like something I could reasonably do.  I just needed to put in the time training.  Then I managed to sprain my ankle, twist my knee, and jam my hip with one kick of a soccer ball.  It was a beautiful goal, I will, in all modesty, admit: A stunning shot, that rocketed past the amazed goalkeeper’s nose and into the net; a shot that turned the tide in an incredibly important game (parents and kids vs. parents and kids), and that also left its or creator in a heap on the turf, attempting to hide pain and embarrassment. The goalkeeper, a former college player, approached: Hey, good shot.  How long have you been playing? Uh, wait, are you all right?  What could I say, but the truth? I have less experience in soccer than my 5-year-old son.  And, no, I’m not all right. More truth: I have even less experience with marathons.  I did at one time run three to five miles a day — at one time, long, long ago — but I am really new to marathons.  Among the questions on the entry form was “Will you have a guide runner?”  I thought about this for a moment: Well, I know a guy who has run the Tokyo Marathon every year.  I guess I could follow him until he disappears over the horizon…. I was about to put his name down, when I figured out what it was actually asking. But I digress, the challenge had been made: If given the chance, I will complete this ridiculously long race.  I provide the link in case you would like to join me.]]>