Sakura Road Race + Festival!
I hope you enjoyed the cherry blossoms while they lasted! The only bad thing about sakura is that it's so short-lived.
Speaking of the blossoms, today I'd like to tell you about my Hitachi sakura experience this year! As many of you will know, I ran in the sakura road race a couple of weeks ago, and attended the sakura festival. It was a great day, so here are some of the details, including my race results!
I decided to run in the 10K race this year, same as the year before. I toyed with the idea of running the half marathon, but the idea of running fifteen kilometres or so before work to train put me off. I resolved instead to try to improve my time from last year, which was 1 hour 7 minutes.
The starting atmosphere of the race this year was great! I should note that the festival organisers really chose the best weekend for the festival this year! The cherry trees were almost in full bloom, and so people's spirits were naturally high. Jesse-sensei and I saw a few AEON students who were also competing, and I took some really nice pictures at the starting line. As soon as the race began, though, I put my phone away, and I tried to get a good pace and concentrate hard on doing well.
The conditions for the race were good, if a little hot. I think that I ran well, and I didn't get as tired as I did the year before. When I reached the five kilometre point, I still had energy left. What spurred me on more was the fact that Jesse-sensei ran past me before the halfway point (he hadn't practiced much, so out of a sense of justice I was determined not to let him win).
Finally, I reached the finish line, tired but relieved! Unfortunately, in the end, Jesse-sensei did beat me, but only by a small margin. The most important thing, however, was that I beat myself. My time was 57 minutes this year - ten minutes faster than last year - and I came 66th in my group. I was very happy about that result! If I improve by another ten minutes, next year I'll get a super fast time!
Anyway, once the race was over, I could relax and have a great day. The sun came out, and it was the perfect day to enjoy the cherry blossom festival. I ate some really tasty festival food, including baked sweet potato with ice cream which was delicious! After walking around under the blossoms and eating food for a while, we sat down on Heiwa Street and drank into the evening. It was very idyllic. Some blossoms even fell on my head!
The only downside to the day was that I got sunburnt unexpectedly! It was the first nice sunny day of the year, so I was caught off guard! My shoulders were bright pink at the end of the day. I'll try not to get sunburnt again this year.
Out of the two sakura festivals I've experienced so far, I have to say that the second was the best because of my running time and the blooming trees. Let's hope that next year can be even better!
Thank you for reading about my experience. If you'd like to discuss the road race or festival sometime, or give me some running tips, please don't hesitate!
Enjoy your week! All the best,