I participated in the Kanazawa Marathon on November 16. It was my 6th full marathon. I enjoyed Kanazawa from the day before to the day after. This report is divided into several parts.
Shuttle bus from the west exit, ticket system troublesome?
I was a little worried about drinking too much the day before, but I had a comfortable morning. Unfortunately, the weather was rainy. It was only a light rain, and it was supposed to start recovering in the afternoon, so we were hoping for that.
I think this ticket system is a bit of a hassle. Sure, some people don’t use it, but I thought it could be paid out of the budget collected from the entry fee. Is that too difficult?
By the way, this is the type of bracelet I wore in the Medoc Marathon last year. You can’t take it off, but I think it’s better. You don’t have to worry about losing it. But, is it a little disturbing? It didn’t bother me so much, though.
Also, the fact that the hours of use are limited to 7:00 to 7:30 also bothers me. I thought it was a bit early. Well, if you’re going to complain so much, why don’t you just walk? (laughs). In fact, it’s not too far to walk.
Leave your bags in the truck and up.
So we took a shuttle bus and arrived at the start venue, Shiinoki Ryokuchi. I think it took less than 10 minutes from the station.
The venue was already crowded with many runners. However, compared to the Tokyo Marathon, which I have participated in in the past, the number of runners was not so large. The Tokyo Marathon has about 35,000 runners, almost three times as many as the Tokyo Marathon.
This event, like many others, will take care of runners’ luggage. The start and finish points are different, so they will bring the runners’ luggage by truck. Some people go home after the race, so it depends on what you want to keep.
If you want to leave your luggage, put it in the large bag you received at the registration desk the day before at the truck assigned to each number by 8:10 and give it to the volunteer in front of the truck.
In my case, I always run with a jacket because I don’t want to be cold while waiting for the start. This time, I was planning to use the windbreaker I prepared the day before as a rain gear and a jacket against the cold, especially since it might rain fully. So, since it wouldn’t be much of a problem if I left it at the drop-off point, I had no choice but to keep it with me all the way, so I went to check in my luggage almost as soon as I arrived at the venue.
Meet at the starting block
After dropping off our bags, we did a quick warm-up at Shinoki Green, and then lined up at the starting block at about 8:15. At this time, less than 30% of people were still there. However, after 8:15, when the deadline for depositing luggage in the trucks had passed, people suddenly started to gather.
As the runners began to gather in the blocks, the weather seemed to be improving, with occasional sunny peeks through the clouds, but at 8:40am, when the line up started and closed, the rain suddenly started to get heavier. This was very hard. Fortunately, I had a mountain windbreaker that I bought in front of the station yesterday, so I was able to get through it without worrying at all, but runners who didn’t have anything or who only had the simple rain gear handed out by the event (which was just a plastic bag with no sleeves) must have had a tough time. It must have been very difficult for them.
Alignment Deadlines and Opening Ceremonies, Impressive Guest Pace Runners
The opening ceremony started at 8:40 a.m. when the rain suddenly became very strong. The opening ceremony started at 8:40. Then the guests and sponsors were announced. Celebrities related to Kanazawa were announced one after another, and the only ones I knew were Ms. Misato Tanaka, an actress, and Mr. Toyoda, a soccer player. I don’t know, but I felt that there were a lot of goodwill ambassadors and so on.
The reason why they introduced this kind of guest pace runners is that this Kanazawa Marathon seemed to have various celebrity-like guests, but I am not interested in these celebrities at all (or rather, I don’t know them), and I was rather excited to have a track and field athlete like Ogata-san running with me as a pace runner.
However, I am very worried about whether the rain will stop.
And the gun, start!
At 9:00, the gun sounded and it was finally time to start. Then, the rain that had fallen so hard earlier stopped as if it was a lie. What luck!
Then, little by little, the line starts to move. I was still in the last block, so it took me less than 10 minutes to reach the starting point. I was a little surprised because it didn’t take me more than 10 minutes to get to the start point of the Nara and Kyoto Marathons, which I participated in in the past. Still, in the case of Kanazawa, the time limit is loose, so a little delay in the start is not so bad as to bother me.
At the starting point, there was a person who seemed to be the mayor of Kanazawa, and Ms. Misato Tanaka and Mr. Toyoda. This is about all I could grasp.
So the long, long 42.195km journey began.
The whole of Kanazawa « runs!
さて、今回から始まった金沢マラソンのテーマは、[highlight]The whole of Kanazawa « runs![/highlight]です。
In this article, I will write about the course and my condition based on these 7 areas.
« Historic Landscape » area
The first area is « Hirozaka » which runs between Kanazawa Castle and Kenrokuen Garden, the center of Kanazawa’s sightseeing, and its surroundings. However, it is only a few hundred meters after the start. By the way, Hirozaka is actually a slight uphill, but I was so energetic and excited right after the start that I didn’t even notice it was an uphill because it was so crowded.
After that, we headed for Kanazawa station. The photograph is « Drum gate » which has become a Kanazawa specialty. 3km before.
« Central City » area
After turning back at the station and returning to Omi-machi Market, we will run through the « central city ». We ran through the area called Katamachi near Korinbo where there are many offices and department stores. This area was very clear and easy to run. This is the first 5km of the race. It was still the first half of the race, so I tried my best to make up some time here. That’s why I didn’t take many photos.
Then, you will pass the Saigawa Bridge over the Saigawa River, and this central city area is finished. We are heading to the next area.
You will go through Teramachi, where there is a ninja temple and so on, to the suburban area of Kanazawa. Teramachi is the first uphill area of this marathon. However, it is not difficult because it is gentle and short distance. After passing through Teramachi, the downhill section is almost straight until 10km.
« New Artery: Mountain-side Trunk Line » Area
And this mountain side trunk area starts before 10km. The locals call it the « mountain trunk ». This is a very wide course, but it is uphill for about 2km. This is almost the only uphill section in the Kanazawa Marathon.
We will finish 10km on this mountain trunk. My legs are still good. I passed the start point 10 minutes late, so this time is good for me.
And this main road is the highest point of the course. In other words, once you get through here, the rest of the course is basically flat or downhill, with a few ups and downs.
I was in good shape, so I felt like I ran all the way to the highest point. The first half of the course has a mountainous terrain, so I think that helped me a lot.
The rest of the ride continues downhill. It’s a long downhill from here to the next area. It’s a big highway, so you’ll go through long tunnels and so on.
« Student Town Bunkyo » Area
We continued through the mountain trunk and entered the next student town, Bunkyo area. But to be honest, it looked like just a new suburban area. By the way, there were several gates to get here. At this point, we passed through more than 50 minutes before the time of the barrier, so it seems that we were able to run with a lot of time to spare this time. It’s safe to say that the setting is loose around here.
Well, I was getting hungry around here. In most marathons, there are no aid stations until after 20km. However, since Kanazawa Marathon is still relatively close to the city, there were convenience stores all over the course. I decided to take a restroom break and have a meal (at my own expense) here. A town of students = many shops? That’s right.
While we were taking a break at the convenience store, it started to rain a little again.
« Old Street Machinami » Area
In fact, the road narrows around here, and this is where it started raining hard again. It wasn’t as strong as before the start, but I think it was the strongest rain of the race. It was a difficult area to run in to begin with, so I decided to walk without hesitation and put on my windbreaker. Because of the heavy rain, I couldn’t take any pictures in this area. But on the contrary, it was a good rest area.
After this, you will come back to the « Historic Landscape ». Higashi Chaya Street is around here. It is just around the halfway point.
Up to this point, I think things were going better than expected. However, as I approached the 25km mark, my legs didn’t work as well as I expected. This is the moment when I realized my lack of practice. It was still too early to relax my legs, so I clenched my teeth for this section. That’s why there are not many photos.
« Rural area with a view of the Hakusan mountain range
Somehow I managed to hold on until 25km. At this point, I could finish in time even if I walked. However, I didn’t want to exceed 6 hours, and I wanted to finish in 5 hours and 30 minutes as usual, so I tried to run as much as I could, although I walked more, but not as fast as the first half.
In this rural area, if the weather is good, you can see the Hakusan mountain range in the distance. However, in this weather, we could not see such majestic mountains at all. It was just running in the countryside. It is a little bored feeling. Everyone around us seemed to be quite tired. But everyone is doing their best. I can’t be defeated.
« Station West New City Center » Area
The last part of the course is from 35km in the Eki Nishi Shin Toshin area. By this time, my legs were quite damaged. I can still run slowly, but my speed is slower than I usually imagine. I think I hadn’t been practicing enough and it really showed. I felt like I had used up all my savings from the first half of the race, and it became tough to break 5 hours and 30 minutes. However, the time limit is not a problem at all. I think I can do the impression.
Ishikawa prefectural government is located here. It was a very splendid building.
5km to go, then 40km
We left the big 50 meter road and went to the area where the countryside spreads out again. And then to the area where the industrial park spreads. The race is in its final stages.
After 5km to go, every kilometre you start to see a sign saying « Xkm to go ». The goal seems to be coming soon, but it is still far away.
At 40km, I was over 5 hours and 40 minutes. In my last two marathons, I would have already finished. But I was almost there.
After 41km, I could see the track and field stadium where I would finish. When I see the goal, I get excited and my legs start to move. One more breath.
Passing 1km to go, you will enter the grounds of the athletic field after this.
The finish line is less than 1km away.
Finally, we passed the 42km point. From this point on, the crowds along the road are unbearable.
And then we go inside the stadium and we finish!
Just before the finish line, the sun finally came out. It rained on the way, but after the race, it was not so cold, or rather, it was a little hot.
It was my sixth full marathon. It’s always hard, but the feeling of accomplishment at this time is priceless.
Medals, Finisher’s Towels, Merchandise
I was able to walk well, although my legs were a little sore. The only thing left to do was to return home after receiving various prizes. First of all, I received a finisher’s towel.
More of a cold.
And the medal given to those who finish the race. This is the best thing to receive.
The souvenir this time is « miso ».
After that, I received my baggage at the starting point. I didn’t change my clothes much, just my T-shirt and hat.
At the end of the race, I received a « Finisher’s Certificate » and this was the end of my Kanazawa Marathon.
Depending on the last two digits of the overall ranking, it seemed to win a product if anything, but unfortunately I did not apply.
After that, I met up with my wife who came to the goal point to cheer me up, and returned to the city by bus. In addition, this ticket was also required to buy in advance, but in fact, it seemed that we could ride if we paid on the spot on the day.
On the day of the event, Runkeeper and Ima Koko Now! are unstable, but Google Timeline can help you!
By the way, every time I run a marathon, I use « Runkeeper » and « Ima Koko Now! etc., but they were unstable because of iOS9. So, I couldn’t get a consistent georog for 42.195km.
However, this one is private (screenshot here), and I’d like to export it as a gpx file or something if possible, but it looks like I can’t. I was a bit disappointed because such a file would allow me to modify Runkeeper’s data.
A small launch in front of the station
We arrived at the west exit of Kanazawa station in about 20 minutes by shuttle bus. After that, we went back to the hotel, soaked in the bath, took a rest, and went out to the station for the launch. Anyway, I was hungry and wanted to eat well. I didn’t want to eat at a traditional restaurant, but at a pub.
However, the restaurants in front of the station were all full, and it was more difficult to find a restaurant than I expected, but fortunately I managed to slip into a pub not far from the station.
It was a little on the soggy side, but the delicious sake and food helped to relieve our fatigue.
Finally, as a summary, I would like to write down my overall impressions of the Kanazawa Marathon that I ran this time.
I think the day of the event went very smoothly. The volunteers were also very good. I don’t think there were any problems with water supply. I was also very impressed by the warm and constant cheering from the people along the route, which was very encouraging. Incidentally, it seemed that many runners responded to the cheering with cheerful voices.
In relation to this, I also felt that there was a need to promote a better understanding of the local people. Overall, the atmosphere the day before and the course on the day made me feel welcomed by the locals, but I felt that this was only superficial. The city was overflowing with tourists the day before, and the city was even more congested than usual. Furthermore, on the day of the event, public transportation in the center of the city was stopped at full capacity, which had a significant impact on the daily lives of the citizens. Therefore, I think there were many complaints.
But in any case, it is full of attractions for runners to be able to run in such an attractive city, so I would definitely like to see the marathon evolve into an even more attractive citizens’ marathon by improving not only what is here but also other issues from next year.