The 25th Annual Tazawako Marathon was held last weekend, Sep. 19, 2010. About 5,000 runners participated in the event, in various courses from a pair marathon of 3km to the full 42.195km.
Despite the uneasy weather, runners started to gather as early as 6:30 a.m., preparing for the races starting at 10:00 a.m. All the races started simultaneously from different parts of Shirahama Site.
The start-up of full marathon gathered the biggest crowd! We got to see some in costumes that were so cheerful and entertaining!
Full Marathoon Start-Up
The shortest course was 3km, in which pairs run and whose times are added to compete. This is quickly done—in less than 30 minutes, almost all runners reach the goal. While some are very serious racers, others are first-time runners pairing with family and friends.
3km pairs at the goal
Other courses are 10km, 20km and the full, whose awarding ceremonies followed respectively. Also, drawing and paper-rock-scissors games were held for all the participants to win some prizes— like Akita brand rice, a Kitaura Ningyo (北浦人形) clay doll, Inaniwa Udon, and a pair tickets to Hawaii’s Honolulu Marathon!
Runners awarded by city mayor, vice mayor,
and president of Sakigake local newspaper company.
Also awarded were runners from each course who cheered up or stood out and make a positive influence to the crowd. This awarded man in the picture below with Mr. Kadowaki, our Semboku City mayor, said he runs like 30 races a year! Thanks for participating in Tazawako Marathon!
Moriageta-de-sho goes to someone who had stood out and made a positive influence!
Every year the main event is held at a large parking area next to the Shirahama beach of Lake Tazawa, where tents of local food and sport goods welcomed the people.
Rows of tents with various foods and goods!
Sports goods available!
Tazawako Heart Herb (5 min. by car from the site) was one of the tents. They sold a variety of good foods like freshly baked breads! Another tent sold colorful and flavorful rice cakes (mochi), home-made by a local lady, Ms. Chiba.
Tazawako Heart Heb's Tent
Also available: tea, water, miso soup and some foods!
The Kitaura Dolls and the artist, Mr. Sugiyama.
Non-perishable souvenirs are available as well. Take this Kitaura Ningyo (北浦人形）! The artist himself was there, and we could see his creating procedure. His studio is located 5 min. from Lake Tazawa, but it was a rare to see him work outdoors at such event. His dolls are so adorable and make the best souvenir from Tazawako. You can find them at local souvenir shops and Tazawako Tourist Information Center at JR Tazawako Station.
Hundreds of staffs --city workers and local volunteers (that included us) – worked together to put this event. At the end of the day, we unanimously agreed how high-spirited we remained! And this year’s success is credited to nobody but all the runners! Thank you!
There is something special about this kind of event—watching enthusiastic people and cheering them up together does make us feel good!!
Hopefully, we will see you next year!