Running in Japan! My first half-marathon running in the rain..

Imagine how my anxiety grew in leaps and bounds when the forecast of a cloudy day became light rain and eventually to heavy rain within the span of 24 hours. As I arrived at the venue of the Ondake half marathon on Sep 22, 2016 under a downcast sky, I eyed the runners surrounding me nervously, discovering, to my horror, that many were equipped with either a rain jacket or a makeshift raincoat cut out of a huge plastic bag. I. on the other hand, had nothing of that sort with me. To tell you the truth, I had never before jogged in the rain, let alone for such a long distance. Naturally, I had no idea what would be in store for me running in such challenging conditions, not to mention it was my first attempt at a half marathon. I earnestly believed that I there was a good chance I would not be able to finish it.

As runners, including me, gathered at the starting line, rain began to fall in earnest. As I looked around me, I found, to my relief, that a handful of runners, like me, were without any protection against the rain. This in turn assured me that running in such an outfit was after all not insane or life-threatening. Having said that, the 21 km-run was quite unpleasant over all, as not long after we started running, I was already drenched, and as if it were not bad enough, it was quite cold that morning too. I did not bring my phone with me (I am glad I did not; otherwise, my phone would have been dead) so I am afraid I do not have any photos to show you visually how bad the conditions were, but I think you get the idea from my description.

I did managed to drag myself to the finishing line, recording a time that was not too embarrassing, as I was told. I remember I almost screamed out in joy when one of the volunteers standing on the side urging us on shouted to us, "no more uphill from then on". I soon found myself speeding up , eager to end the misery as soon as I could. But the satisfaction I felt crossing the finishing line was immense! I hope to participate again next year, and hopefully I will be blessed with a much bad weather, and I will be able to see Mt Ondake up close!


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