To run a marathon is one of the things on my list which up to now I couldn’t manage to cross. I know, it doesn’t mean that if I participate I should win or something, but I am just too lazy to do the initial leg work. So for the mean time, I am one of those cheering on the sideline and just standing there in admiration for these men and women whose main goal was to finish the 42.195km run around the city in no more than 6 hours, 40 minutes.
Since the 2012 Tokyo Marathon was held on a somewhat cloudy, rainy Saturday morning, my initial plan to wake up early was completely abolished. Instead of cheering for the runners at the starting point, I ended up going to the finish line where as expected, I have to fight my way among hundreds of other spectators for a good spot on the bench.
There are several things that might interest anyone to spend a weekend as a spectator at the annual marathon. Apart from checking out if fame Ethiopian runner Haile Gebrselassie will top the race or maybe getting to know some home grown talent who might possibly compete at the London Olympics, but those that will surely bring a smile on your face are the ordinary runners who deem that their Adidas or Nike shoes alone were too old school to be seen running around with.
Minnie Mouse is the most popular get-up for the girls, while most men opted for wacky headgear like a replica of Tokyo Sky Tree, a banana, signature pink hat of Tony Chopper from One Piece and some dressed in Doraimon snack pack. Allow me to explain what I can only assume the reason why this men and women went all out with their get-up. It’s not because they are die hard fan of Disney or maybe they are running for a charity for teenagers and their obsession with French maid costume, it is simply because in order to be one of the lucky 30,000 runners you have to beat out at least 225,000 applicants. The event was met with so much enthusiasm that the selection has to be done via lottery, where the application starts at least 1 year in advance from the actual race.
If you have a day to spend in Tokyo and you want to see all the places, try doing the marathon course as it covers all the key points of interest. Starting from Tokyo Metropolitan Government office in Shinjuku, passing by Imperial Palace- the official residence of Emperor Akihito, continuing to move towards the 313m Tokyo Tower, then a u-turn somewhere in Shinagawa, going to the famous giant red lantern of Asakusa Kaminarimon Gate, passing by the expensive kingdom of Ginza and heading for the finish line at Tokyo Big Site, Odaiba.
If the only reason you check out this post is because of the title that mentioned “Gundam 1:1 Scale” and you completely ignore everything that I have written about the marathon, no offense taken, I understand. So what Gundam has to do with the marathon? Nothing really, it’s just so happen that the race finish line and the robot replica are both on the same vicinity- Odaiba.
In all his 18 meters glory, somewhere hidden at the back of the Diver City building is the full size replica. Sorry, but it’s not possible to go nearer to Gundam since the whole area is under-construction. But if you wait patiently maybe later this year, you will not only be taking those close-up shots but possibly will enjoy a Gundam theme park too.
I sent these photos to my brother who is an Gundam fan, he went nuts and can’t believe there is a life size version to his beloved 1:100 scale collection.