A Marathon in Tsuchiura

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Moat and carp streamers in the castle ruins of Tsuchiura

Tsuchiura City seems like a very quiet town that comes alive only a few times a year, in particular during a marathon event every April.  Kasumigaura Marathon is a citizens marathon with about 29,000 participants this year (only 20 foreign participants from what I gather).

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Where are the people? (Snapshot taken a day before the Kasumigaura Marathon)

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Fisherfolk at Kasumigaura lake, the second largest lake in Japan

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Sakura print on the road

Personally, it’s insightful to participate in a local event while traveling that I signed up for this marathon as soon as its registration opened in November last year (even before I obtained my visa). It’s quite a good opportunity to observe and be with Japan’s running citizens as part of my summer vacation.  

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Marathon poster near the tourist information kiosk at Tsuchiura train station

Major international marathons have a great deal of foreign contingents that somehow the local nuances from beginning to end are lost with all those expected international standard type of event planning and participation.

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However with the Kasumigaura Marathon and other similar citizen marathons, there is that deeper satisfaction of getting a chance to see and feel something singularly local, though somehow it’s highly likely one can get lost in translation – but that’s part of the journey, and so, this is the kind of reason I often seek (a deeper one than a participation bragging rights from one of those marathon majors).

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