Sunday, March 16, 2008

Recap - Tokyo Marathon 2008 (Pre-Race)

15 Feb 2008
Met Tooty1511 at Changi International Airport for our flight to Tokyo. She said she was on MC for the day but had rested enough and feeling much much better. After we checked-in our luggage, she accompanied me to draw $$$ for currency exchange. Then, I accompanied her to 7-Eleven to get a tube of lip lubricant before we went to the Thai Airways's Royal Silk Lounge, where we chit-chat and ate sandwiches, Coke, soup, etc. for dinner! We went to the gate about 40 minutes before take-off time. By then, the gate was very crowded. So we didn't manage to use the free internet at the gate to post last minute message on SGRunners. The flight was somewhat delayed for whatever reason I couldn't remember now. But it was a smooth journey. From Singapore to Bangkok to Tokyo. We arrived at Tokyo about 1 hour later than the projected time. After immigration checks, we picked up our luggage and stepped outside the controlled area. By then, I already took out my small digital camera. Then I saw someone grinning so happily! It should be Eliza although I was not sure as the person had a woolen cap pulled over her hair. The signage that she held sort of confirmed her identity but I couldn't quite make out what was written on it. Nearer to her, I saw the distinct, red-colored wordings of SGRunners. Cool! It was Eliza indeed and as promised, she had welcome us to Tokyo with our names on a cardboard which she prepared before the trip! I felt like a VIP instantly. :p We also met Brownboy for the first time, who arrived about 1.5 hours earlier than us. With his knowledge of the Tokyo's train/bus services, we got on the express train straight to our hotel in Shinjuku.

16 Feb 2008 (1st part)
The weather in Tokyo was great! It was cool but the sun was hot. I guessed it should be about 10 degree celsius or there about. Stepping out of the Shinjuku Station, we listened attentively to Brownboy who explained to us the many exits at the station. The walk from Shinjuku Station to Shinjuku Washington Hotel was about 15 minutes. When we reached the hotel, we deposited our luggage with the porter and went for our brunch as it was too early to check-in. Brunch was good cos we were all starving! :p After lunch, we went to Tokyo Big Sight where the marathon expo was held. To get there, we had to take 2 types of train, explained Brownboy.

It took us almost 1 hour to reach Tokyo Big Sight. It was not so crowded as I expected probably because the area was huge! We queue up at our respective lanes to get the race packet and bib number. The volunteers were very helpful and explain to us what need to be done on race day and where to collect our event tee, which was at a separate counter. After collecting the event tees, we went into the expo on our own. The expo was truly huge. There were many brands and sales unlike the expo for SCSM. I bought a finisher tee for myself, an event tee for Sera, some power gels with unique japanese flavour that you can't find in USA or Singapore, and some souvenirs to give away. We met back at Mizuno booth before heading out of the expo. Before we left Tokyo Big Sight, we saw a mock-up Tokyo Marathon finishing timing stand, bearing a time of 03:48:41. We took turns to pose with the time since most of us would probably never be able to achieve that kind of timing!

16 Feb 2008 (2nd part)
After the fruitful outing at the Expo, we went back to Shinjuku Washington to check-in our hotel, pack, and rest. Tooty1511 went off after getting her luggage from Shinjuku Washington as she was staying at another hotel. We made prior arrangement to meet at 7am the next day. After she left, Eliza and I took turns to wash-up. I was tired after spending the previous night sleeping on the plane and walking for almost the entire day today. Hope my legs recover in time to run the next day! At about 7pm, Eliza and me were ready for makan. We went to a nearby eatery where we had to purchase our meal ticket using the vending machine. We also wanted to buy some side dish but had trouble reading the Japanese language. Luckily, one of the helper at the eatery was able to explain and helped us order. As usual, food was great as we were both very hungry. After dinner, we walked back to our hotel. Along the way, we stopped by a convenient shop. I bought a packet of energy drink, recovery drink and another called fibre replacement drink, while Eliza got a packet of plaster. We went back to the hotel, fairly satisfied. After preparing my running attire that I need, I went to sleep.

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