Wednesday, November 12, 2003

I've gotta get a little more current with the postings, but really, it's my blog, so I'll do what i want eh?

So we ended up running our road race on Sunday. They call everything running wise a "marathon" if it's short, it's a "mini-marathon" I found this foolish because a marathon is defined as a particular distance of approximately 26.3 (?) miles. Ok, so i don't have the actual distance memorized, but it's just not possible to have a shorter version of a road race and call it a marathon. Anyway, so we lined ourselves up at the starting line after warming up for all of 5 minutes. The weather which had been balmy on saturday had just turned to shit. Wet, cold, and crappy. Jennifer, Lara, Shane and I all lined up at the start with a bunch of mostly highschool aged kids from, surprise surprise, one of Jennifer's schools. So they all gave us the eyeball, particularly to me as i was a good 8 inches taller than the next tallest competetior. Also my orange shirt, eddy merckx bicycling cap and sideburns helped me to blend in with the crowd. The gun went off and so did everybody else. I had wisely coached my fellow gaijin to avoid blasting out with the rest of the foolish crowd, but i was surprised to see some pretty fast looking highschool and post highschool aged guys at the front, blazing ahead. The race thinned out pretty quick and i established myself in the top ten, out of 40. I was beginning to pick off the highschool kids, maybe they were middleschoolers, who can tell, towards the end of the race. Everything was going as planned and then i heard this pitter patter of little feet, and knowing that i am not expecting children in the conceivable future, i understood that this must be the competetion. Sure enough with about 500 meters to go a kid, probably a good 10 pounds lighter than my already waif-like brother Asa, pulls up beside me. I let him get a stride or so ahead, but then i realize. . . there is no fucking way that this kid is going to beat me. I can tell that it's been his only goal this race to catch up to me and beat me. And really, who wouldn't want to. The mighty foreign devil stomping on little highschool dreams reared his ugly head about 100 to go and i spanked this poor little 15 year old into the dirt. It was satisfying in it's own way, i felt like an older brother again.
After the race we discovered that runners are the same everywhere, they're pretty social and a little weird. We met up with this guy who had run the 10k and he made conversation with us and his friends for about 30 minutes while they sorted the medals out. I was bronze by the way with a time of 18:15. I would like to think that i could have easily broken 18 without the mountaineering and beer swilling the previous night. Also, i didn't have my flats, a big oversight, really. At any rate, this guy and his friends love complimenting us and we try to respond back, then they picked up on the subtleties of our (read: MY) physical differences with them. They were astounded to hear of a size 13 foot actually existing and likewise marveled at my 35 inch inseam. After I got my bitchin medal, we headed off to the onsen for some nude relaxation. THings were swell.
We got into the place and decided to have a snack. Some toothless and increasingly drunken japanese sake swillers were chillin at a the next table to us. Being the uber friendly guy he is, shane somehow gets invited to drink sake with them and soon enough i'm there on the floor with them. This is cool, we are somehow able to communicate in that most universal of tongues, alchohol. They speak about as much english as we do japanese, so there was a lot of gesticulating and pointing but overall it was a nice time. I tried some of the japanese disgusting alchoholic pickled vegetable that these guys were gnoshing on. What a deal.
Then we got naked and soaked in pools of fart smelling waters that rejuvenate the skin and soul.

Overall it was an interesting day, and i haven't even mentioned the hyper-genki woman in Obuse who forced apple pie on us and told us about japanese corruption in the school system.

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