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World Run I / Reports

Goto: 12004-10-18 12004-10-20 1Japan

Distance today: 53.0 km (Accumulated: 13097.0 km)
Country: Japan

2004-10-19 Route Report: < road sign .49 on Route 161> - Street, cross of Route 1 and Route 9; entrance of "Hotel San Crane", Dojo

53km, 5:22:02h (J.). Excl. food, water, toilet etc. stops.
Total 13056km. (J.).

Start 10:35am (all).
Finish 17:34pm (J.).
Time GMT + 10 hours.

+17c, rain and medium wind at start.
16c, very heavy rain and medium wind at finish.

- Running out of map; and running into the Typhoon!

Going over the last set of maps (in Japanese) late yesterday evening, I
realized that not only was it the last maps I have (that is planned as I
have planned a meeting with Kazuka at finish today), but more problematic:
about halfway on today?s route the map lack precise indication of what
highway/road I should take.

That is pretty crucial as the map don?t have information about the name of
other roads as it?s a gps-directions map printout; making alternative
navigation quite a puzzle.

- To my very big relief I managed to solve that puzzle as I ran along. For
about 1 1/2 hour of mid-stage running I thought I was lost for good; but
guessing at the correct direction and thus choice of highway - I got the
right road to Kyoto AND to the right part of Kyoto. Getting wrong into the
city would pretty much be the same as getting definitely lost too.

Yet, as the traffic chaos caused me to loose my way a couple of times
after entering Kyoto (which is a huge city by any standards!) I had to
accept that I couldn?t reach the meeting point before dark.

As the rain got stronger and the darkness made road finding difficult, not
to mention the abstract paintings the rain had made my map-prints into ;-)
, I decided to begin looking for a hotel.

Remembering the experiences I have had with hotels in Japan so far... That
wasn?t exactly a comforting thought ;-)
But this time I was in luck !! I found not only a decent priced hotel
right in the middle of Kyoto; also the staff spoke English!!!

Having been unable to make myself understandable the last 5 days it was a
valuable mental lift. Being more or less lost in a country where you cant
understand anything written or said and where help isn?t given easily to
strangers; well then you really appreciate just being able to understand
what is said :-)

I settled in at my room, switched on the TV and began trying to contact

- I was in store for new trouble!!

Kazuka wasn?t to be reached by phone. Yet even worse was the news on TV:
A strong typhoon (hurricane) was on the way from the south, already
causing chaos on the southern Island of Japan. It was expected to reach
the main part of the country around noon tomorrow and a general alert
seemed to be announced - I didn?t understand all of course. But was I
could understand from the graphics was that Kyoto lay right in the
expected line of the centre of the typhoon. Not good.

The main problem now was:
a) I couldn?t stay another day at the hotel as my yen-amount thus would
run out.

b) Running to the rendezvous point would put me out there in the typhoon
with the baby jogger on streets already dangerous to run in good weather.

c) Even if I did reach the meeting point I could not be sure that there
was anyone to meet me by then. Both I would be half a day late and the
typhoon alert would make it reasonable to guess that there could only be a
limited time for my contacts to stay at that place.

I tried to contact my family and/or the Danish embassy in Japan by phone
to seek advice, but as usual the phone rewarded the effort with some
automated words in Japanese.

...I had the night to think about what to do about this interesting
situation ;-) !

Goto: 12004-10-18 12004-10-20 1Japan

Distance today: 0.0 km (Accumulated: 13097.0 km)
Country: Japan

Here is a short special report to say that Kazuka has found me after
running alone along the planned Japan course the last 5 days.

- With a map in Japanese language only; it wasn't the easiest of
navigation, but I got through :-)

The rendezvous came at a very fortunate moment, as there since yesterday
late evening has been Typhoon (Hurricane) warning for the part of Japan
that I am running in at present. Not the same bit of wind and rain as we
are used to in Europe... rougher at non-stop rain for the last 24hours,
with rivers now flooding many of the main roads and most of the minor
roads that are in vicinity of rivers or other waterways.

We expect to be evacuated from the present accommodation in Kyoto (my
finish point today) to a safer place as the center of the storm should
reach us within about 30 minutes.

With best wishes & a huge thanks to the many runners that has been
encouraging me the last few days by email. It has made a very very
difficult set of stages (and days in general) a little more doable :-))

- If all goes well I will bring the last days reports in 2 days!




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