This is It! Race Day! – Story of My Virgin Marathon at Tokyo Marathon 2017

Categories Running

5.00 AM

I woke up feeling fresh and suprisingly very calm.
I re-read the runner’s guide to START and FINISH LINE one more time, making sure I got everything right.

Next is breakfast. We bought soft boiled eggs at the minimarket. Easy and convenient. I also had a banana and some water. One very important thing to do is… nature call. I was very grateful that the morning went well including toilet business! I could not imagine running 42K with a stomach full of unloaded garbage.


Race Day Check List!


Do you have special ritual before your race? Do just that!
My ritual is laying out all my running gear and prep a check list. I like them in a very serious order.


06.45 AM

Time to go. My husband ran with me from the apartment we’re staying in Yoyogi to Tokyo Government Building in Shinjuku. It’s only 15 minutes stroll.


Mind you that we are tropical islanders. My normal running temperature is 26C. That morning temperature reached 5C! I was nervous about the weather. Luckily, we have stayed in Tokyo for 3 days by then. So my body was adjusting to the cold.


We found our way to my gate, GATE No. 2! So here’s the thing. STARTING LNE was divided into different block areas. All runners must enter through a specific designated GATE. There was an area for bagage security check – I showed them my security ban and bag. Note that water bottles were not allowed. Then I went to find my bag lorry. There’s a number for my bag lorry on my race BIB.


Line up to Security Check

Everything was so well organised. I didn’t have to wait long for baggage check nor baggage drop off. The toilet was a bit of a problem. But I came in early so I saved a lot of time.


07.45 AM

I made my way to STARTING LINE Block K. STARTING Block K is located within a small football court next to Tokyo Government Building. I had to privilige to look down on it from the observatory above.


The Start Block K from above Tokyo Government Building.



This is designated area in my opinion, for slow pace runners, first time marathoners and senior citizen runners! A Japanese lady who identified herself as “Nagata” shook my hand for good luck as we waited patiently in the cold morning.


It’s a good idea to wear plastic jacket that you could later throw away. I waited for more than 1 hour before gun time – trying to warm up with small jumps and stretching. The volunteers tried to communicate with the runners, reminding us to keep ourselves warm.


08.30 AM

The pacers came into our block.

Pacers are ready!


These were pacers who would finish in 5 hours 30minutes. Ideal time for beginner runners like me. But I know I would finish way beyond that time. It’s still nice to see them getting ready.


09.10 AM

Gun time.
I saw the runners at front blocks started moving. But not our block! After 10 minutes, the volunteers let us enter the main running area. I was so hyped up I forgot about the cold! I forgot about being nervous!








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