Tabuse Sakura Marathon: Post 5k

Nerves pulsated at her fingertips as she waited. She didn’t know how well the event would go for her this time around. Running had never been a given talent, she has always needed to work at it. She always had to try not to dye.

Her palms started to sweat. Thoughts of ‘why did I sign up for this,’ ‘I need one more week,’ and ‘damn it Amanda, you should have run more after Ube’ plagued her thoughts.

Photo taken by Sumitomo-sensei as we waited the last 5 minutes for the race.

Five minutes, just five minutes until the starting gun would fire. Five minutes until she would have to run her second 5k in Japan. Five minutes until gawd only knows what would happen. Was she ready? Could she run the entire length? Purple clad feet shuffled back and forth in anticipation and dread as she waited. Time ticked away until the voice of the gunman shouted out “san, ni, ich!” BANG! the gun was shot.

The crow of runners started to jog their way forward. Slowly they broke away from each other as each individuals pace varied. Amanda was placed at the back of the starting lineup but easily moved through the throng of people as she moved forward.

Amanda would stay true to herself. Throughout her run she continued to keep her own pace, try to not get out of sink when breathing, and just finish running till the very end. Some racers she passed, while others passed her, but that is just how races are.


This weekend I ran another 5k. This race was held in the neighboring town of Tabuse and was part of the towns local Sakura Festival that is held every year.

Image of the main venders for the Tabuse Sakura Festival

The marathon had three parts, a 1.5k run, a 5k and the larger 10k run. I am still not the greatest runner and struggle while running. Challenging the 5k is still not an easy task. Remember, and for those of you who don’t know, I was never the sporty kid growing up. I was and still am the artsy, strange, theater kid. I honestly couldn’t run for shit.

Tabuse’s race was different from the one I ran in Ube. In Ube runners ran down a road to a point then pulled a u-turn and ran back to the finish line. For the sakura race we started at the Tabuse Sports Center. The runners then ran to the finish line that was located just a block away from Tabuse city hall. This allowed the runners to run along the river bank among the sakura; which are in full bloom and gorgeous.

I managed to take this photo on the last lag of the race. Running while trying to take a picture is hard as hell!

For this race I thought my time and place was going to be worse than what I ran in Ube. I had not trained well after the Ube 5k. I only had run maybe three times since the races. Felt like the gods had been smiling down on me once again because I did better than I had at the Ube run. I took 18th place for women (out of how many I don’t know) and ran it in 27 minutes and 46 seconds.  I only shaved a few seconds off my time, but for not really preparing for this race I will take it as a win.

I am thankful to myself for setting out these challenges. Sometimes the goals seem unattainable but some how I stay strong and keep going. I have never been one to give up.  With this challenge complete what is the next? Will it be traveling, hiking, or another race? At this moment I can’t say for sure. Life is an adventure, we just need to be motivated to live it.


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