Friday, November 23, 2012

Marathon preparations: You can't give a baby booze!

Something I love about Japanese marathons is how skew-whiff they can be. As I approached the expo centre to pick up my race number, I spotted a bored looking young mother, baby strapped to her front in an ampanman contraption, iPhone in one hand, and a can of Asahi in the other. Because there's nothing that says "pursuit of athletic excellence" like waggling a premium lager in front of a baby.

I got inside the hall, picked up my number and then got handed my own free can of Asahi, at which point I was disappointed to discover it was alcohol free. You can't give a baby non-alcoholic booze! Even if "it is a non-alcohol beverage so you can enjoy it without worrying about the next working day".

The booze might be fake, but there are genuine smoking areas for the runners, in case you need a dose of nicotine in between getting your race number and watching some lunatic in head-to-toe lycra doing aerobics. I think it was Osaka last year where they were dishing out portable ashtrays so you could smoke on the run.

Come to think of it, there are no no smoking prohibitions in the marathon rules. Normally I'd think nothing of it, but here I think they'd be unsurprised if you lit up a fag at the finish line. Or the start. Or anywhere in between.

On this basis, the marathon wine seems the very model of healthy living, although I'd obviously prefer it if they had marathon fortified wine to chug out of a brown paper bag at every drink station on the course.

I'm not being sanctimonious here. I was quite happy to buy a big box of deep-fried dietary disaster from the marathon-expo Mr Donut truck, although I have to report that after the third doughnut, I began to feel a little queasy. Or perhaps that was my ill-advised egg sandwich breakfast.


Post a Comment