We arrived Tokyo a rainy and windy Thursday afternoon, dead beat after only a couple of hours sleep on the plane. Since we expected to slide into a coma the minute we reached our hotel room, we decided to go directly to the expo to pick up our bib number.
The expo was about a 30 minutes drive away, so we had the reception call us two taxis. Neither of the drivers knew any English but we thought we were safe since we had written down both the address and the name of the place. Turned out we were not. The taxis took us to two different places and for our part we had to search for the place for a while before we found it, and on the way we even stumbled upon a a history garage, with a display of vintage cars.
When we finally reached the expo, we managed to meet up with the rest of the group, who had to climb a hedge to get there.
When it comes to the expo… On the positive side, going there the first day was a strike of luck, since there were hardly anyone there and collecting the bib number and free T-shirts did not take any time at all. The volunteers were also so enthusiastic, friendly and helpful through the whole process.
So to the sub-par parts, where the poor weather must take its fair share of the blame. The expo consisted of multiple tents about 20 meter apart and it wasn’t that much fun running back and forth between them. In addition there were deep puddles of water on the ground inside the tents due to the heavy rain, so we where soaking wet by the time we reached the exit. It was not exactly tempting to shop anything in these conditions, but luckily the main shopping stand was both dry and warm, so I was able to purchase a couple of running T-shirts (in size XL I might add, due to the bloody small Japanese sizes).
Since all four runners in our group are also eligible for the big, fat Six Star Finisher medal we had hoped to buy some Abbott merch on the expo (they had a huge stand in Chicago), but no such luck. Seems like we have to buy it from the online shop. But, it was great to see the Wall of Fame with the name of all about 4000 before us who have achieved this goal (running marathons in Berlin, Boston, New York, Chicago, London and Tokyo that is..), where only 36 are from Norway and only 14 are women (hey, when you suck too much to compete on time, you’ll have to find some other ways to compete in that makes you look good….)
It was so relieved being done with the bib collecting and on our way back to the hotel we got a crash course in the metro system of Tokyo. I wouldn’t say we nailed it, but at least we got home without too much hassle.
The race was a couple of days later, and I must admit it was with some sense of pride I wore the extra sticker below…