The Story Behind The Run

We always have self-doubt if you are a high achiever because when we try to go to the next level and there is thought we are not good enough, but that’s okay because that means we are hungry and we are committed to elevating ourselves..

Yokohama Marathon was my second race in Japan, with seventh marathon in total since I started running in 2012l. In 2018 I ran in Osaka Marathon and it was really amazing vibes, the euphoria, the people, even the race it-self was amazing and giving so much memories, it never disappoint. Here’s the reason why I decided to run back in Japan for my 2019 marathon.

This time, Yokohama Marathon. At first it was quite hard for me to decide which marathon in Japan I would like to run to. My first option was Kobe Marathon, but it seems not so friendly for runners like me (well i hate hilly & rolling roads lol) I kept searching and searching and finally mid April i founded-out Yokohama Marathon was a perfect race for me then decided to register in Yokohama Marathon for my 2019 marathon.

The race itself was on the perfect season to run, November 18th not that cold but not that hot it just perfect. The registration price was ¥17,000 for foreigners its first come first served registration system for foreigners but for locals they enter the ballot system, the organisers provide 2000-3000 registration slots for foreigners so don’t worry about not to get your slot for Yokohama Marathon, you will get your own slot. Yokohama Marathon itself has 4 different categories, a Marathon (42,195 KM), 1/7 marathon (6,0278 KM) both for runners & wheelchair, and 2 KM for wheelchair.

Months and months of training and finally arrived in The Port City they said. The second largest city in Japan, took the train from Tokyo to Yokohama it took 40 minutes by train, so impressive. My first impression when I arrived in Yokohama was peaceful city with a wonderful landscape tall buildings, huge monuments, museums and lots of sights. I stayed near the Yamashita Park where the 1/7 marathon finish line are, it was a wonderful park near the coast where people can run and hangout there.

Race pack collection held in PACIFICO Yokohama Exhibition Hall, one of the most huge races pack collection I have ever been to. The expo was really fast it took me around 5-10 minutes to get my BIB number and race tees, its really efficient they separate between Japanese runners & foreigners lines. There’re also sponsors booth and merchandise both even we can try the food tester that provided by the organisers, it was epic.

Race Day! Starting point of the race is located in Minatomirai Bridge, 15 minutes walk from PACIFICO Yokohama Exhibition Hall where we put our drop bag. The weather on that day was so friendly, and they said it was the best weather in Yokohama Marathon history. Runners are divided in to starting blocks from A – M, luckily I had my . My own goal to run under 3 hours 7 minutes time or faster.

And the race start, sharp at 8:30 am. The first 300m had downhill & continue by taking the bridge, i kept maintaining my pace in 4:20-4:25 so I could finish this race under 3 hours 5 minutes. The course itself passing the center of the city to the Yokohama coastal line, so wonderful. All locals welcoming every runner that passed by, all volunteers and crews are so amazing they’re so energetic! 

Passed the halfway mark in 1:31:25, still on target at that time. KM 22 climb up off to the expressway, I passed lol! it was one of the most struggling part of the race, everyone walked on that part i kept running lol. KM 23, suddenly I felt something strange under my feet then I stopped, then i realise that my nail been chipped-off wasn’t that painful but it still disturbing my run for the last KM.

The course in expressway itself are 11 KM away long, so could you imagine how disturbing those nails? But those volunteers cheering me up ‘Gambatte’ they said, it was a magical word for me in this condition. Those feelings are gone in sudden, pain? yes it was there now. KM 32 we’re back in land, luckily the road was pretty flat but it’s too late after 11 KM rolling road in express way, my nail we’re really in pain it hurts so bad. Somehow I wonder “should i just end this race?” those thoughts are there for the next 2 KM, i might sure it was the longest 2 KM i ever ran to and it was pretty painful tho’.

Finally I decided to enter the medic tent in KM 34, those language barriers in medic tent just so funny but somehow wasting my time lol! I ask for a bandage and try to wrap tight up my toe with it. And at that time I changed my mind & my goal for this race, I absolutely in pain and pretty sure that i can’t finish under my goal 3 hours 7 minutes so decided to make finish PB, faster than Osaka Marathon (3:23:22). Try to maintain my pace in 4:30-4:50 in last few KM’s. And finally crossed the finish line in 3:14:34, a solid 9 minutes PB. Satisfied? Hm well i’m not satisfied with the result wasn’t that happy and enjoy the ‘post’ race situation, but at least it still a solid PB right? 

Leaving Yokohama right after the marathon, taking train back to Tokyo. Overall the race was amazing, i’m pretty sure that i’ll achieved my goal if there’s no ‘drama’ but hey it’s marathon right? no one knows what’s going to happen in 42K. 

The thing that Ii learn from this marathon is, marathon is a long distance race so you don’t know what’s going to happen in 42K. I’d said the X factor, so no one knows whats the X factor is that thing determines your fate. 

Yokohama Marathon definitely amazing and fun race, Japan never disappoint me! Definitely will going back to Japan, hopefully with a better result!

Yokohama, arigatou!

Abiyoga Tegar Prakoso (@abiyogst)

Runner, Indonesia

November 2019

Some image rights goes to my best buddies from Korea @maro.on.5.

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