I applied Monday to participate in the annual promenade known as the Tokyo Marathon. Yes, I, of slow, encumbered gait, have thrown my hat into the ring, cast my gauntlet to the ground, drawn a line in the sand, and all that. And, should I receive confirmed entry, hereby declare that I will not only run in said marathon, but shall finish said marathon.
Official notification will follow in October. This sort of thing takes time, as — and this is really amazing – 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.