Monday, March 5, 2018

Kagoshima Marathon, 2018

There was a lot going on this weekend, with the really big event being the annual marathon on Sunday.

The tents and stage went up in Central Park between Tuesday and Wednesday. On Thursday we were getting light rain, with heavy rain forecast for the day of the race. I had to go to the English school nearby at 3 PM on Friday, and some of the food booths and all of the running supply shops were already open, and one of the foamhead mascots was out walking around. Saturday, the skies opened up and we were hit with a downpour. The stuff in the park still continued on, but I don't know if they kept the stage open or not. I didn't see a schedule then, and didn't expect there'd be anything worth photographing through the rain. I only had classes from 1-4 PM, and after that I went up to Amu Plaza to check out what they had. I didn't go through Central Park, but one of my students had told me that the event she was helping with (pouring out free shochu in the bar district Saturday evening) had gotten cancelled. A little later, the rain tapered off, and by Sunday the weather was perfect. Sunny and maybe in the mid-50's. (Sunny night, it turned to heavy rain again.)

(You could get your photo taken on your smartphone with your official finishing time, if you wanted.)

I wasn't able to get out the door until 1 PM on Sunday, and by then the winners had already finished, and the men's awards had been handed out.

I got to Central Park first, where the race organizers were just handing out the certificates to the women's division third-place winner.

It's a full 25-mile marathon that starts at Dolphin Port and goes up the coastline to Aira, before turning around and finishing in front of City Hall. The cool-down chute redirects runners to Houzan Hall (in front of the park) for picking up their certificates and marking the completion of the run.

The cool down chute. Houzan Hall is the building on the left, which is a combined natural sciences space, planetarium and concert hall.

Myu FM radio had two of their show hosts out yelling encouragement to the runners at the finish line. KTS was also shooting the race route for live broadcast on TV.

A couple of the runners reaching the finish.
 I didn't hear numbers for the race, but the advertising leading up to the marathon said something like it being over 10,000 runners last year, I think.

The boulevard park across from City Hall had some food and souvenir tables set up as well. They also had the Ashiyu (foot bath) cafe. Next year, they really need to move this over to Central Park, where all the tired runners are.

As part of the on-going publicity for the new NHK Saigo-don TV drama, there was a tent for renting period clothes and having your photo taken in front of a display  board of Saigo Takamori.

Some more of the tables, and a few of the spectators.

Back at Central Park, the other entrance had another spot set up for having your photo taken with your race time.

Here, the backdrop for the photo is a Toyota car.
I didn't know anyone actually running in this marathon, and my main interest was in the stage events. Unfortunately, the bulk of the schedule was just more speeches by city officials and handing out certificates to other race categories. There was going to be a violin performance at 4 PM or so, but I'd seen that guy play before, and a lot of his music is covers of copyrighted pop pieces and movie theme songs. So, after getting the photos I wanted, I headed for Amu Plaza.

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