World Run I / Reports
Distance today: 21.0 km (Accumulated: 13118.0 km)
2004.10.20. Route Report:
21km, 2:01:21h (J.). Excl. food, water, toilet etc. stops.
Total 13077km. (J.).
Start 09:15am (all).
Finish 12:57pm (J.).
Time GMT + 8 hours.
+18c, heavy rain and medium wind at start.
15c, very heavy rain and medium wind at finish (Typhoon "Tagora"
- Meeting at last!!
While I got ready for today?s stage I could minute for minute watch on the
news reports on TV how the Typhoon (hurricane) "Tagora" was closing in.
At the point of start it was about 50km away with its centre heading right
through the part of Japan that I?m running at present; and already
claiming its first death victims.
Not really an ideal setting for the run!
But as I explained in yesterdays report, there wasn?t much of a choice. If
I stayed in the hotel, I?d run out of money soon. My only chance was
making the contact with Kazuka and Alexander at the rendezvous-point - and
that meant heading out in the weather and hoping to reach them before the
Typhoon would reach me..
Though; by now there has been so much emotional stress during the Japan
part of the run that I have reach a period of a kind of `emotional
numbness` (!). So where I should have been rougher scared of the
situation, I was more or less indifferent; not due to courage, but to
mental ware-down through the last 5 days.
By start the streets was at many points already flooded by rainwater,
reaching halfway up the baby joggers wheels at the worst parts and making
the run a bit difficult - and a very very wet experience ;-)
Luckily I had a long stretch of uphill running which meant that for about
10km, there main problem of the water was running `up-stream` of it, but
that?s much to prefer to running through pools of roadside water...
AND: to my huge relief I suddenly was hailed from a car that stopped at
roadside. By that time I had almost given up hoping that I?d meet Kazuka
and Alexander because schools and other main places was already being
evacuated and closed down awaiting the Typhoon centre.
So, I nearly ignored the signal but as Kazuka jumped out and got hold of
me, I realized that my 6 days of "Japan horror-running" was over!!
We agreed that I ran on for a bit more, searching for an appropriate
finish point - that is a place that could make for decent Guinness
documentation material of the location & time of the stage finish.
Within 30minutes I found a satisfactory point: the crossing of two major
roads and we got the finish-picture and other documentation quickly done
and then into Kazuka?s small car.
We barely could fit in there, the three of us and the baby jogger, but
that didn?t matter anything. All that mattered was to get quickly to a
safe place as we had already seen the first cars being caught in
meter-deep roadside water; other traffic just rushing on to save them
At first we settled down in an institution & training centre for guide
dogs for blind people. We had got this contact from mr.Miamoto (the blind
runner which had run the first 10km in Japan with me). Mr. Miamoto is one
of the Japanese that has been helpful to me and I have very good memories
of his kindness and interest in the run - as well as respect for him as a
strong ultra runner!
After about 3 hours of rest in the centre, watching the news of the
closing Typhoon, the civil service ordered the area evacuated as the winds
was already throwing over trees and stone fences. Driving to the
fire-station for over-night accommodation we could see that it probably
was a good decision as the nearby river was beginning to take bites of the
tarmac road leading to the centre.
In the fire station centre we were accommodated with blankets and madras?s
on the 1.st. floor together with other people from the village. Actually
this became one of my good memories from Japan as there was friendship and
helpfulness widely seen among all the different people gathered for the
night. You could say that for me, the Typhoon "Tagora" proved important is
showing that friendship and helpfulness can indeed be found also here in
the 10.th. Country of my running! :-)
- People shared food and tea and posed many interested questions about
where Alexander and I came from; our run and how our countries are like!
Early in the morning the hard storm bursts began to silence down and we
were `evacuated back` in good order. All in all a good experience, but of
course it was hard to those Japanese who lost their homes during "Tagora"
which was estimated to be the strongest in about 20 years.
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