131st Kanto 10 Mile Road Race

Source: Running Talk
The Kanto 10 Mile Road Race is the oldest 10-mile road race in the world, beginning during the Meiji period in 1886. The race starts and finishes next to a temple, about 10 minutes’ walk from Sogosando Station in Chiba Prefecture, close to Narita. Arriving at the race HQ in the temple grounds on the cold and windy morning of December 17th, there were runners standing around huddled in groups or laying on the ground relaxing.

From the little information that I had managed to obtain prior to the race, I knew that the last 1km of the race was all uphill. Prior to the race, I searched for the start line on the road by the side of the temple, and set off to walk the last stretch of the course. Having confirmed that there was indeed a fairly steep hill from the 15km to 16km point, I stripped down and jogged the first 2km part of the course, which runs in the opposite direction along the road. I managed to get back to the start point just in time to watch the 10KM race start, which had a field of about 300 runners and was won this year in a time of 32:30.

Start of the 10 mile race

Surprisingly, the field for the 10-miler that gathered on the start line a few minutes later was much smaller, with just over 150 runners. I could see that there was a large contingent of runners from Juntendo University and Chuo University. Perhaps they were using the race as a final tune-up before the Hakone Ekiden at the beginning of January, the highlight of the university and running calendar in Japan. When the race started, the university teams began at a sprint, quickly rounding a bend in the road …continue reading