Day 730: Ekiden, National Championships

Ekiden. Originally from Japan. One way to run a marathon. If you don’t want to do it all alone, you could find 5 friends and do it together. Yes, it’s a team relay. 5K-10K-5K-10K-5K-the odd 7.195 km. It was the National Championships race in Estonia. But it was actually kind of sad and void of people. Only 6 teams. Only 36 runners. Seriously, we do have more runners in Estonia! More clubs! Our club contributed to the number of participants with 2 teams. Even with the lack of participants, I was proud to be one of them. Championships, come on! With this in mind, it was even sadder that so few people wanted to be part of it. I’m not yet strong enough to even qualify for most races (mainly shorter distances because I’m not fast enough) so participating in a championship race was truly an honour.

For 2nd year in row, there were mixed teams. 3 men, 3 women. And for the first time ever I could thus be in the same team with my husband. Downgrade for him, upgrade for me. He wasn’t in the best shape, that’s why. I ran the second 5K leg. By that time, the teams were no longer running together. I was alone for the whole 2 laps. In the wind. On the hill. The entire tiresome 20+ minutes. Oh, well. At least we had cheerleaders from our club and they performed their task brilliantly. Possibly, thanks to them, I didn’t run slower than 21 minutes. I’m not happy with 20.38. No. Never. My PB in 5K is 20.09 and I long to run under the magical 20-minute threshold, which seems to open up more and more possibilities once I cross it. Considering that it was my first post-marathon race, maybe it was fine. But how, tell me how, can some people run their PBs at such races?? There’s one girl from our club who always does that! And she’s fast! When I need to run alone, despite of me being kind of a lone wolf, I don’t do so well. I become slower than slow. Phew.

Possibly, I don’t have to do it again because this race is dying out. The number of participants has dried up. More and more each year. Maybe it IS time to say goodbye. I am sad that people don’t want to do it. But I’m glad I would no longer have to run all alone when no one cares. Even the sports news talked about everything other than the national championships. For them, a random volleyball game seems to be more important than finding out who became the champions this year.

Progress Report

1. Own and live in a house.

Ekiden day is not a working day. It was a day of celebration and spending time with friends instead. And for me it also meant driving back and forth one time too many because I forgot the cake at home!

2. Write AND publish a book.

Doing really bad in this area. None. I did read in the morning though.

3. Win a major race.

Obviously, not so good. 4th place for our team and no PB for me. This left me hungry for more and I asked my trainer if I could also race the next day… He said “yes”.

Photo of the Day

The hardest part of Ekiden. Up the hill. Cheerleader in just the right place!
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