translated by Brett Larner
On Aug. 16 the 34th running of the Hoppo Ryodo Nosappu Misaki Half Marathon took place along the Pacific coastal highways of far northeastern Hokkaido. Blessed with perfect weather, over 700 runners gave it their best with encouraging cheers from local residents crowding the roadside.
The race featured three distances, the main half marathon as well as 10 km and 3.7 km races, with participation numbers increasing year by year. Last year's winner Yuki Kawauchi (Saitama Pref. Gov't) returned to run as part of the masses, finishing 1st in 1:07:01. "I have the Rio Olympics and London World Championships coming up," he said, "so I won't be able to run this race next year or the year after that. But I will definitely be back three years from now!"
Half marathon senior division runner-up Seiji Okabe, 61, laughed as he commented, "I've run here every year since the first one. The air was crisp, not hot, so it was comfortable to run. But I'm looking forward to hopping in the bath and soaking my tired muscles!"