Osaka Marathon 2012: The Prelude

This year, Osaka Prefectural Government decided to move the event to late November. A good month later than the inaugural Osaka Marathon which was held on 30 Oct 2011.

I think it is a good move. Last year, the temperature soared to the mid 20s and despite the rain during the latter part of the race, it was quite a warm race. We started at 9am with a temperature of 18 degrees Celsius. Felt like spring time. Pleasant but personally, not cold enough. 

So, the forecast for this coming 25 Nov: 12.7 degrees Celsius, Sunny with 0% chance of rain. Sounds like the perfect weather for a run. I have always enjoyed running in this kind of climate. Malaysia's humidity and heat can sometimes reach 98%+ and 30+ Celsius respectively. The recent Penang Bridge International Marathon (PBIM) was a good example. Not much fun running in that kind of condition. Though it may not bother some tough folks, I am for one a rather pampered marathoner who would melt in that kind of 'sauna' weather, leave alone attempting any PB.

Now, let's have a closer look at the route and elevation chart. The route is exactly the same as last year's, kicking off from the Osaka Castle Park, making some U-turns at various city locations and finally finishing at INTEX Osaka. 

By comparison, it may seem as though Osaka is identical to Tokyo Marathon with a fairly flat course. However, from past experience, the latter part certainly did not 'feel' flat. Factor in the near empty glycogen storage, it felt more like a herculean struggle rather than a inconsequential mole hill at that last bridge crossing (note elevation at 37+ km). Be warned! 

Also, a word of caution for the initial part (before the 5th km), the downhill slope has often tempted runners to happily sprint along, like a dog off his leash,...only to pay the price in the latter part of the race. So, pace yourself and don't get carried away. Don't just go with the flow.

That said, it is an AIMS certified course and most people wound up clocking their PBs in Osaka. Furthermore, with the promise of good weather on our side, it may just seem quite likely too. Well, doesn't hurt being a tat optimistic, right?

As for the spectator's response, in comparison to Tokyo, it was almost dejavu. They lined and cheered along the whole 42km stretch; an experience almost rivalling Tokyo, except there were fewer performances. (But I am not complaining.) Who knows, it may be rowdier this year with Osaka always on the heel of her twin sister, ever trying her utmost to outdo Tokyo. But getting the coveted Top 6 marathon of the world (Tokyo named no. 6), would demand an altogether different calibre. Osaka, a respectable 35000 strong FM as it is, still has some mileage to cover.

Personally, Osaka means a shot at outdoing myself. With a target set to break, I am eyeing for that NUMBER which I have trained hard for many months to achieve. Whether or not that is realized, you can be sure that it will be a monumental effort on my part. And God willing, it will be a fun and unforgettable experience too.



  1. Gambateh!
    That's the perfect expression because it's Osaka. :)
    A good weather and running condition is really an important element for a PB. Plus the close victory during Gold Coast surely help in achieving a good pacing and strategy.
    I personally like this statement very much and always do it approaching a race, "repeatedly picture yourself crossing the finish, with the clock showing your goal time."
    Good luck!

  2. Thanks Kent!
    Well, am going for broke this time. Will see how things unfold!


Post a Comment

Popular Posts