Running Through a US Military Base and World Heritage Site at the 22nd Annual Okinawa Marathon 2014
post : 2014.04.21 16:00
On February 16ｔｈ, what is now firmly established as the winter event of the central part of Okinawa Island, the "22nd Annual Okinawa Marathon 2014" took place.
It started at 9:00 in the morning. It was slightly cloudy at 16.6℃, perfect weather for a marathon.
With the catchphrase, "Here we define our friendship, dreams and love," 11,326 people from outside the prefecture, outside the country and of course from within the prefecture ran the full marathon course, and 2,858 people ran the quarter marathon course for a total of 14,184 running.
The marathon goes through two cities and one village in the central region.
Compared to other marathons within the prefecture, the largely varying height of the road can be taxing physically, but from time to time you can look from a hill and see the ocean or the greenery and enjoy the rich scenery.
At the start of the course there is the difficulty of climbing steep hills, but when the World Heritage Katsuren Castle Remains rise in the distance, the feeling of the long history of the stone buildings is overwhelming.
Also, at the public rehydration station that are continuously along the road, people cheer and pass out things like bananas, oranges and cane sugar to the point they you many think you ate too much. That amount of replinishment is also something to be glad about. The children cheerleading, playing brass band, and performing Eisa (a traditional Okinawan folk dance) and the cheering of the citizens of Okinawa gives comfort to the runners.
One of the true pleasures of the Okinawa Marathon is that a part of Kadena Air Base, in which it is not normally possible to enter, is part of the marathon course.
The American soldiers and the people who live on the base make noise through speakers, give high fives and wave flags to cheer on the runners and raise their spirits.
The snacks and juices that were given out, not the stuff normally seen in Japanese supermarkets, were made in the U.S.A.
Then after going up the hill in the latter half, the gift for the hard working runners is the horizon line of Nakagusuku Bay that spreads out before the hill below them! Along with a comfortable sea breeze, if you can come this far then the goal is only a little bit ahead.
The runners, with their sense of accomplishment and comfortable level of fatigue, dozed off smiling with their fellow runners on the lawn of the start and finish line of the Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park.
8,363 people reached the finish line of the full marathon course within the time limit (6h15m) with a completion rate of 73.84%. 2,786 people finished the quarter marathon course.
So why not try to experience the rich scenery and culture while running through the center of Okinawa?
Name: 22nd Annual Okinawa Marathon 2014
Date: 16 February 2014 (Sun) - 3rd Sunday (Rain or Shine) -
Full Marathon: Okinawa Comprehensive Athletic Park (Starting/Finish Line)
High School/General Public 10km Road Race: Going to the 5km marker and returning
Local Government Association of Central Okinawa
Field Athletic Society
Okinawa Parks and Sports Development Society
The Ryukyu Shimpo Press
Okinawa Television Broad-Casting co.(OTV)
Okinawa CLIP Photo Writer Sandy