Eight-hundred runners showed up at Camp Zama, including a nationally ranked Irish runner. We had 800 runners ready to go and they started the race by firing a cannon at the start line. Miimii, having none of it, fell asleep on a warm metal heat vent, with shoes neatly sitting by as the mess swarmed around her. I woke her before the start because she would have shot about ten feet off the ground when the cannon went off.
Fueled on tuna/rice balls, I managed to stay with the leaders for the first 3 kilometers of the run and fell back. At 5-miles I finished the first lap and saw Miimii amongst the throngs of little yellow spectators, ran over to her and gave her a high-five. The Japanese loved it.
There were four very prominent, steep climbs on the course, the same course we'd raced on bicycles just 364 days earlier.