Saturday, February 23, 2013

Okinawa 10k and Comprehensive Park

Last weekend was a lot of fun!  We went to packet pick up Saturday afternoon and spent the rest of the day walking around Comprehensive Park.  Although I've wanted to take the boys to this park before, I've just never gotten around to it.

Comprehensive Park had jogging and bike trails, large fields and several courts.  Besides the water park, there was a large canal and a play area with fountains (signs were posted saying "Don't drink the water" in Japanese, so I assume at some point there must be water).

Summer fountains?
Eventually we made our way around the park to the playgrounds.  (The name of the playground area is ちびっこ広場 (Chibikko Hiroba), which translates as Ankle-biter Square or Rugrat Square.  Cracks me up!)  We went to the playground for younger children but older kids had several large areas too.

Playground for toddlers

Play structure for older children

Over at the ponds, the boys loved watching the carp and turtles.  I believe paddle boats could be rented too but we had already spent several hours exploring park and the boys were getting crabby.

Bridge to the islands in the pond

My plan for race day was to do the 10k this year as a practice run for next year's marathon.  Sunday morning we parked at Aeon in Gushikawa around 7:45 and there was still plenty of spaces open.  The shuttle bus got us to the stadium by 8:15.  Easy peasy!  The boys grabbed some breakfast from one of the food stands and we settled down to wait for the 10k.  The marathon started at 9 with a little fireworks show.  Then it was my turn at 9:30.

The course was mostly flat but I had a lot of trouble settling into my own pace.  Like Ayahashi, this race was packed.  I wasn't able to really pass anyone until after the 2km mark and the rest of the race was a lot of weaving in and out of traffic jams.  I've pretty much given up on setting a goal time for these races and will just run for fun.

Race shirt and 10k finisher's medal

I felt so bad for the marathoners!  Although the weather was fairly cool and cloudy for the 10k, the sun came out and the temp soared later in the morning.  We live near McT, which I think is around mile 9 on the course, and we got home around noon.  Even with the course open to traffic, there was still a steady flow of runners - and they looked miserable!  The heat definitely took its toll.  I hope they were able to finish and get their medal.

Crossing my fingers for better weather next year.

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