It's "marathon" season in Japan again. Not just races like the Kobe, Osaka or Tokyo Marathons, but at school as well.
When I was in school in Colorado, we had field day in elementary school, with kids in their jeans running and jumping and just having a ball goofing off and having a day without class. In junior high, our teacher used to shove us out the door in 2 or 3 feet of snow, tell us to run the cross country course, then he'd head off for a cuppa'. Half the guys would cut through the trees, and a few would stop for a smoke or even a not-then legalized toke (which is why he'd shove us out in the snow, actually - he could track our footprints)
But "Marathon Day" in my town in Japan is a whole 'nother critter. The elementary school has been training for "Run-Run Time" for the last three weeks, my daughter's junior high only for about a week. Then yesterday was "Run-Run Time", and today was the junior high "Marathon Taikai (Competition).
The elementary kids didn't run a marathon, of course, they ran for set times around a 200m track. 1st and 2nd graders ran for 5 minutes, 3rd and 4th graders for 6, and 5th and 6th graders for 7. And for a bunch of video game-playing townies, they were pretty fast.
Then the junior high kids ran 3km today. And it was cold. Here I am, wearing a t-shirt, sweat top and coat, and my daughter comes blazing down the riverbank in shorts and a t-shirt.
I hate getting old!