Run for JAPAN #9 and my Longest Run Ever

2 Years and 20 Miles Later

20130310_100259On 10 March, our heroic friend Ayako organized the 9th Run for JAPAN group run around Central Park to raise money for the people affected by the Great East Japan Earthquake. This Run for JAPAN fundraising event which started two years ago kicked off my renewed running ‘career’ as it was the first time I had ever attempted 6 miles straight, the longest run of my life to that date. This time, I followed suit by marking the run as the current Longest Run to date. And that distance was Twenty. 20 Miles. Blaw.

Before the meet up time of 10AM, I decided to go out and do a pre-run, so that I would get some miles in beforehand in case my running friend Santiago would not do more than 2 loops with me. Fernando, still nursing his fracture, joined my side on his bike. Proudly sporting our Run for JAPAN shirts, we went down to the park, covered the east side, and then did two of the small 1.7 southern loop so that we’d be near the meeting point. By the time it was 10AM, I had completed over 6 miles, the whopping distance of 2011.

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

Run for JAPAN #9, Huge Success, thanks to Ayako!

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NYC Ekiden Team Tero-Giraffe

Team Tero-Giraffe tore it up over 16.2 miles of Central Park

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2-Person Team Tero-Giraffe

Last Sunday, despite feeling godawful on Saturday, I tore myself out of the warm cozy apartment and into the humid cold drizzly park to participate in my first ever (as an adult) relay race! The NYC Runs group organized an “Ekiden” which is a Japanese style relay race where the runners of each team wears a sash which is passed from runner to runner. How interesting! The first American ekiden took place in 1988 right outside the United Nations where we work. [Click here to see a video!] Since Fernando and I found out about this rather late and signed up last minute, we only had each other for the 4 leg race. Which meant we both had to run twice.

As dismal as the day was, bound by the fact that we had paid for this race and that we couldn’t do it alone, we both bucked up and did our 2 mile warm up to the Start Line. Although it was not as organized as NYRR as it seemed a bit messy and took a bit to get underway, I thought it was a great thing that despite not having a ton of money or volunteers, they were hosting this fantastic race anyway! The organizers made the final announcements and explanations (I mean, the concept is pretty simple!), I took off my sweatshirt and stepped into the starting corral with my colleague from work who happened to be running the first leg too on his own 4-person team! I adjusted Team Tero-Giraffe’s brown sash and the horn blew!

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Blackfoot and Ishigaki-san, colleagues and competitors!

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