2015 Kyoto Marathon
Thrill of Victory as far as I'm concerned about marathons, any finish is a victory 平成27の京都マラソンのフィニッシュ -- Heian Shrine (平安神宮) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Thrill of Victory
as far as I'm concerned about marathons, any finish is a victory
平成27の京都マラソンのフィニッシュ

Today was the 2015 Kyoto City Marathon. Just as when I blogged about the 2012 Kyoto City Marathon, I went out with the Nikkor 300mm f/2, but new this time is that I intended to try to photograph two acquaintances who had told me their intended pace and sent photos of what they were wearing.

To help increase my luck in picking out two faces from 16,000 runners, I set up a bit past the halfway point just before a turnaround, so runners were going both directions in front of me. If I suddenly noticed a friend going by one way, I'd have a few minutes to properly prepare for photographing their return.

Unfortunately, I was literally 30 seconds too late to take my intended route to the spot... I saw the road become closed off right in front of me, so I ended up having to make a meandering path around traffic cutoffs, and I arrived to my intended spot 15 minutes later than I planned.

Sea of Faces マラソンの半分点のちょっと後 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Sea of Faces
マラソンの半分点のちょっと後
That's Some Hair! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
That's Some Hair!

It was hard not to notice this guy's amazing head of hair. He seems to be a force of nature... I was able to find his web site, where he identifies himself as a surgeon, musician (piano/guitar/vocal), and obviously an athlete. He even has his own custom-designed shirt... he's the Ricka of Team Ricka.

Fetching 木村 泰徳 · Yasunori Kimura -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 250 — map & image datanearby photos
Fetching
木村 泰徳 · Yasunori Kimura

I was getting dizzy after 20 minutes of trying to pick faces out from the moving crowd, and thought I'd missed them both, when suddenly one pops into view!

Elena Nikitinskaya a friend from my gym -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Elena Nikitinskaya
a friend from my gym
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 180 — map & image datanearby photos

It was about three minutes to the turnaround and back, so I watched and waited...

Should Be In Here Somewhere -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Should Be In Here Somewhere

I wasn't able to pick her out again... that's how crowded it was. On the chance that she'd paused along the way to rest, I lingered for a while and took in the colorful crowd...

Currently 1st Place in the “Superhero, Male” category (his real identity — 井本 恵介 · Keisuke Imoto — must forever remain a secret ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Currently 1st Place
in the “Superhero, Male” category
(his real identity — 井本 恵介 · Keisuke Imoto — must forever remain a secret)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos
Katherine Runs a Lot -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1000 — map & image datanearby photos
Katherine Runs a Lot

She happened to glance right at me as I snapped a picture, which is why I include it here. A web search for her name (Katherine Lee Ming Sze) shows her in lots of race results.

A few minutes past when Elena should have returned by, it started to rain, so I packed up to go home.

The rain had stopped by the time I got home, so I left my scooter at home and walked out to the finish to scope out a good place to spot someone far enough away to take pictures. I find an appropriate spot 360m before the finish, looking down a 140m segment of road that slopes down to my position.

A Minute or Two Before the Finish フィニッシュの直前(〜360m) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1600 sec, f/2, ISO 100 — map & image datanearby photos
A Minute or Two Before the Finish
フィニッシュの直前(〜360m)
Lots of Energy for having run a sub-3hr marathon It was about the 2:56 point when I took the photo, and it'd probably take a minute and a half to reach the finish. 松下 雄太 · Yuudai Matsushita -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 160 — map & image datanearby photos
Lots of Energy
for having run a sub-3hr marathon
It was about the 2:56 point when I took the photo, and it'd probably take a minute and a half to reach the finish.
松下 雄太 · Yuudai Matsushita
Freakishly Relaxed this guy (Daniel Matson) looked like he was on a fashion runway -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 125 — map & image datanearby photos
Freakishly Relaxed
this guy (Daniel Matson) looked like he was on a fashion runway
GoPro'ing His Finish Julien Mentzer -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
GoPro'ing His Finish
Julien Mentzer
Needle in a Haystack there he is, the other person I was trying to pick out -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Needle in a Haystack
there he is, the other person I was trying to pick out

The other person I was looking for, Jeremy White, is a member of the Cycling Kyoto Facebook Group that I've recently joined. I've never met him, but when he mentioned he was going to run the race, I asked for his pace an a photo of what he was wearing.

There were a bazillion Caucasians with blue shirt and green number bib and especially after not having been able to find him at the first spot, I held little hope finding him here, but I kept scanning far ahead with the big 300mm lens, and lo and behold he appeared.

Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 560 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 720 — map & image datanearby photos

The photo above, with proper focus missed, really shows that I don't have the skill to use this lens in this situation. I love using a manual-focus lens, but even at these distances, f/2 leaves a pretty thin depth of field and I'd set up such that the runners are doing their best to move out of the plane of focus as quickly as possible.

I want to say that this is not the lens for this situation, but I could make it work better if I had better skill. But I want to use it anyway because it's such an exceedingly rare kind of lens (there are only a few hundred in existence), so it has the chance to give me results no one else could get.

Mostly I feel I failed — none of the results here are photographically what I had hoped for — but the quality of the subject matter makes up for it. Folks who see themselves in the pictures like them, and that's probably the most important measure of success.

On Pace for 3:17 90 seconds hence (this is the first time we'd ever “ met ” ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
On Pace for 3:17
90 seconds hence
(this is the first time we'd ever met)
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos

It would be another hour before I expected Elena to come by, so I looked for fun and interesting folks in the crowd...

Event Staff huffing and puffing it out -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Event Staff
huffing and puffing it out
I've No Idea 関水 学 · Manabu Sekimizu -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
I've No Idea
関水 学 · Manabu Sekimizu
Team Ricka Again on pace for about 3:25 -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 220 — map & image datanearby photos
Team Ricka Again
on pace for about 3:25
Victory! 野島 寛 · Hiroshi Nojima -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Victory!
野島 寛 · Hiroshi Nojima
Sticker Shock the sticker over her number means she might not get official photos ( but I found her online, so I'll send this one) 小川 陽子 · Yoko Ogawa -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 280 — map & image datanearby photos
Sticker Shock
the sticker over her number means she might not get official photos
( but I found her online, so I'll send this one)
小川 陽子 · Yoko Ogawa
Easy Smile レール マルク -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Easy Smile
レール マルク
More Triumph 笠原 勝 · Masaru ? Kasahara -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
More Triumph
笠原 勝 · Masaru? Kasahara
High Fives some folks did this with those cheering on; I thought it was nice 三浦 基行 · Motoyuki Miura -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/4, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
High Fives
some folks did this with those cheering on; I thought it was nice
三浦 基行 · Motoyuki Miura
Event Staff better prepared than the ones seen above -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 500 — map & image datanearby photos
Event Staff
better prepared than the ones seen above
Baby High Five 山本 剛大 · Yoshi Yamamoto -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Baby High Five
山本 剛大 · Yoshi Yamamoto
“ Kyoto Kamogawa (river) Running Club ” -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 360 — map & image datanearby photos
Kyoto Kamogawa (river) Running Club

At one point I noticed the banner for the running club that Elena is a member of, but I was growing hopeless about being able to pick her out of the ever-increasing mass of runners. Just look at how the numbers had swelled:

Fast-Flowing River of Folks -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/320 sec, f/16, ISO 6400 — map & image datanearby photos
Fast-Flowing River of Folks

I didn't expect Elena for another 20 to 30 minutes, during which the numbers would only swell...

... which makes it all the more shocking that I actually noticed her 25 seconds later:

Another Haystack, Another Needle -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Another Haystack, Another Needle
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 450 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking For Her First Sub-4h Marathon she should make it with minutes to spare -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 320 — map & image datanearby photos
Looking For Her First Sub-4h Marathon
she should make it with minutes to spare

Having had success in plucking the two needles, I wandered back towards the finish...

Domo-Kun NTT (Japanese National Television) Mascot -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 400 — map & image datanearby photos
Domo-Kun
NTT (Japanese National Television) Mascot
I Have No Idea ( actually I do; I ran into my mother-in-law near the finish and she told me this was ZAQ ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 140 — map & image datanearby photos
I Have No Idea
( actually I do; I ran into my mother-in-law near the finish and she told me this was ZAQ )
“ Finisher ” Towels -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 200 — map & image datanearby photos
Finisher Towels
Job Well Done this worker passing out towels had such a happy high-five for every runner coming through -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 640 — map & image datanearby photos
Job Well Done
this worker passing out towels had such a happy high-five for every runner coming through
Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 800 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing With His Towel ( Sadly, I couldn't unzoom with my feet due to the crowd ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
Posing With His Towel
( Sadly, I couldn't unzoom with my feet due to the crowd )
Bananas For All! -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 1100 — map & image datanearby photos
Bananas For All!

I ran into a number of folks I knew in the few minutes I was walking home, including Elena who had thrown street clothes over her running clothes and was headed to the subway...

( 300mm was a bit tight for this, too. I should have had another body with me ) -- Kyoto, Japan -- Copyright 2015 Jeffrey Friedl, http://regex.info/blog/
Nikon D4 + Nikkor 300mm f/2 — 1/1250 sec, f/2, ISO 900 — map & image datanearby photos
( 300mm was a bit tight for this, too. I should have had another body with me )

Elena looked less tired than I felt. She often does 12-hour 100km mountain runs, so a little thing like a marathon doesn't work up much of a sweat, I suppose. Out of my league.

Elena is Russian and I assume she speaks English just fine, as any Westerner I've ever meet in Japan does, but at the gym we speak only Japanese to each other. It feels weird because it's such a rare thing (English is the lingua franca among Westerners and many non-Japanese Easterners as well), but it's The Right Thing. We're in Japan, after all.

Anyway, おめでとう (congratulations) to Elena, Jeremy, and everyone who finished, or even attempted, the race. As for myself, I feel like a winner too, for being able to get up so early on a Sunday. Time for a well-earned nap! 😉

(But first I'll send photos to all the folks I could track down.)


All 4 comments so far, oldest first...

Please run a marathon
to know what it is truly like
Thank you for great blog

— comment by marathon girl on February 16th, 2015 at 3:03pm JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

Very nice pictures and super nice of you to send them around. I’d say you’ve managed very well with the MF, at that range I can’t even imagine my keeper rate.

Those times are dam impressive too, all those people finishing close or even below 3h and looking really fresh, I am so impressed. Whatever the time, the 30-35km wall is really something painful and it takes a lot for a mind to finish such a race. Congrats to all.

By the way if this inspired you to do some running, you may want to take a look at a running app (I use runkeeper) and age grading, it’s a really nice method to evaluate your progress.
http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/racepaces/rp
http://www.runningforfitness.org/calc/racepaces/agtimes

— comment by Alain on February 17th, 2015 at 7:38pm JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

WOW! What a nice surprise to see my son on this blog! He’s teaching in Hiroshima and is the one where you said “Freakishly Relaxed.” Thanks! His mom, from California

My pleasure! He responded to my note on Facebook, and I’ve sent him copies of all the photos he’s in. —Jeffrey

— comment by Susan Walker on February 21st, 2015 at 5:34am JST (2 years, 7 months ago) comment permalink

I would like to find out more about this marathon course (Kyoto Marathon), if it is fast or slow compared to other marathons. Is it one way or do you start and finish in the same spot(elevation). Do you know who I could ask if you don’t know this?

Awesome shots and dedication. I wish I had a friend like you. I take the shots but no one can ever get shots of me. 🙁 lol

Thank you.

Shane Angove
Newbie with a D3ooS
586-939-7952

Check out the Marathon’s home page. —Jeffrey

— comment by shane Angove on July 29th, 2015 at 3:43am JST (2 years, 2 months ago) comment permalink
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