|Photo from https://www.osaka-marathon.com/index_en.html|
That's right, I did it, I'm officially a Marathoner! I cannot believe that I actually did it! I'll tell you all about it, hope you enjoy my journey to Osaka and back.
Why Japan? Why Osaka? You might ask. Let me tell you. If you have read my previous blogs, about a year ago I wrote a blog post about what will be next for me and running. I wrote that I wanted to run a marathon, but not any marathon, I wanted my first to be special ;)
Honestly the only race I had planned to run in 2014 was the Lululemon SeaWheeze half marathon in Vancouver, Canada. We had planned a family vacation to Japan, we had been there in 2009 when my son was one and we loved it so much that we decided to go back and go to some new places as well as re-visit Tokyo. One day my husband asks why I haven't been running and I told him that I didn't have any races coming up in the near future and it was too early to start training for SeaWheeze. He immediately gets on his iPad and says to me, if he finds a race in Japan, would I run it and immediately I said, in a heart beat. Sure enough he pulls up the major Marathons in Japan, there was going to be one on October 26, 2014, the day before we were going to be flying back to the US. We could definitely make it work so we can get to the race and still on time back to Tokyo for the next day to come home. So it was all planned out. Until...
The registration for the race opened in April, however due to an overwhelming popularity of races in Japan, it was a lottery. I didn't know if I was even able to get in, so I got a little discouraged and didn't start training, what's the point, my chances of getting in were pretty slim. They had reached their maximum capacity of 28,000 entires within the first 24 hours. Then I read somewhere that the first year that this race took place in 2011, there were 154,000 entries and for the Tokyo Marathon there were over 320,000 entries, well you do the math for the odds. There was a separate registration process for international racers and the entry fee was more, 12,000 yen VS 10,000 for Japanese. But that was fine with me, I really didn't care, I just wanted to get in.
In the beginning of June I received an e-mail from the Osaka Marathon, but it was all in Japanese, I couldn't believe it, I copied and pasted the whole e-mail into Google translate, but man, I could not understand a sentence! Thankfully about 10 minutes later I received an e-mail with the following:
Mr./Ms. Keili Silverman
Check-in No: OM2014-0023721
Thank you for your recent application to enter the 4th Osaka Marathon.
Over the application period April 3 to May 8, 2014, substantially more responses were received than the number of places available. A strictly neutral drawing was therefore conducted and you were selected in that drawing.
Accordingly, you are invited to access the following payment URL and pay your entry fee and charges. Please note that if the payment procedure is not completed by the deadline below, your selection will be withdrawn.
OMG!!! YES! I got in, I could not believe it, now it was really crunch time, I needed to find a training plan and get started!
So that's my story of how it came about and there was no backing down now, I was not about to give up a very much coveted spot at this race.
Check out my other postings about the race review and Japan in general! Hope you enjoy.
Keep on running...