Saturday, October 11, 2008

Sea of Japan

Time: 64:00
Distance: 9.5 mi.

We got out early in the morning again, with the same group of guys meeting for a run. We decided to run on the Izumo Cycling Road, which goes northwest through the city and towards the Japan Sea. The beginning of the run was similar to the mixed light industrial/small farms and residential areas that we saw on yesterday's run. It got nicer as we got farther out and it got more rural as the path veered away from the Takasegawa River. We unexpectedly ran up to the beach as we were getting close to 30 minutes and ran out to touch the water. Mark and I decided that there wouldn't be much of an opportunity to go in the Sea of Japan again, so we decided to jump in. On the way back Mark, Sage and I started running a little bit harder (maybe 6:20 pace?) which felt good. After a few very easy days my legs were feeling lethargic. My hamstring was tight throughout, but not too sore.

We had a busy and interesting day, beginning with a special tour of the Izumo Taisha Shrine, one of the most important Shinto shrines in Japan. We then went to a very nice lunch reception with the mayor of Izumo and important local cultural and national sporting officials. Finally, we ended the day at a nearby onsen (hot springs), which was fun and hopefully also physically refreshing.

Our primary means of travel around Izumo is a tour bus

Walking up to the Izumo Taisha Shrine

Main area of Izumo Taisha Shrine

Team at the inner shrine

Lunch with the mayor of Izumo and other local officials

(Photos by Andy Pitts and Sage Canaday)

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