Thursday, February 07, 2013

The town marathon

Thursday last week, after observation day. After school actually while I was standing outside near my car chit chatting with 2 of my good friends. One of them mentioned to me,this is a new mom friend btw, she has a first grader and so do I (Noah). She's originally from Yokohama and she speaks absolutely amazing English. She used to be a translator or some thing along those lines and her family when she was growing up because of her father's job she and her sister and parents moved to England for a few years and went to school there. So yeah it has been a nice year all this time, knowing her. Her son and Noah are very good friends. He used to go to the local hoikuen that's why we never met before last April. So anyway that's the little info/tidbit on her. So she's pretty cool. Anyway she kindly tells me last Thursday, "I know Noah-kun likes to run, will he be participating in the town marathon this coming Sunday?" Like 3 or so days away. At this point I must mention,our town gets a once a month 5 page bulletin and town news. Pictures of new babies born for that month type news etc. I scan it through every single month. However the 1 month I fail to give it a look through, that's the month we'd need the information. Gah!!! That seems to always be the case right, lol. OMG! I said to my friend, "Noah would love that. But, I'm sure I'm too late to enter/register, right?" She said, "I bet you can still enter. Tomorrow's Friday go down to the town ward office tomorrow or call" I told her "thank you so much!!!!! The kids all come down the hill we all wave goodbye. And that's it. I asked Noah, on the way home in the car, would you like to participate, it's your choice. Noah said, "totally, count me in!!!" He was actually more worried if he was too late to enter! Poor kid! Worry wart that he is. : ) I tell Noboru when he gets home and he agrees. He says if he wants to do it, by all means. We should let him. So, Friday rolls around. As soon as the town ward office opens. Noboru calls. "hello this is Mr. such and such, he says. They know exactly who Noboru is right away on the phone, lol. Small town. : ) He says, "sorry to be calling about this so late, but we just found out yesterday, is there anyway we can enroll my first grader in the marathon?" Never mentioning Noah by name. But he did say he was Mr. Our last name. The woman on the phone tells him. "it's past the deadline but not to worry, I know it's okay." and by the way the one who makes the ultimate decision if it's too late or not is our neighbor guy across the street. : ) Okay she says, "let me fill out the form over the phone right now and is there anyway you can swing by to stamp your okay, allowing him to run, sure I can be right over, Noboru says. She continues writing....and then she says... "This is for Noah-kun is that correct?" @_@ Yes, Noboru says. Wow, super small town. lol. She knows his name without even having to say it. lol. He went down and they stamped the paperwork in. When I picked up Noah Friday afternoon he was still so worried. "Can I run on Sunday?", yes sweetheart you can run. : ) So, this pic is from Sunday the actual marathon day. They had these tables set up and you needed to go and sign in.
A bit blurry, but we walked up and Noah was signed in, in no time.
One of the men in charge, main/head guy in charge actually... is standing right in this picture. He's our neighbor.  And father of A-chan who is a 7th grader and she lives across the street, this is her dad. : ) We've known A-chan since she started ichinensei, when we first moved here. And likewise,  he's known Noah since before he was even 1 year old. So he saw Noah and took his hand immediately and put him right up at the top of the line. Good thing for really good neighbors. : ) Yep that's Noah in his orange shorts and his glow in the dark super white skinny chicken legs. : ) As you can see in this picture, some kids wore soccer uniforms. Some wore street clothes but active type sweatpants or whatever. And some showed up with their school gym/PE uniform on. Clothing was whatever you decided.  Noah ran the marathon back in December in shorts so he wanted to wear shorts again.
Both elementary schools and the 1 junior high school. Basically everyone who is a kid/elementary school age that makes up our town were here, even Branden showed up but he wasn't running, but even he was here. : )
You see the steam coming out of that? See how big that pot of soup is? It's half the height of that woman! Enough to feed a town of kids! And btw this was the most genki and active set of lady cooks. When the kids warmed up for taiso/exercise, these ladies were rocking it! They were bending and jumping with the best of them! Healthy ladies!
Branden isn't into running. Which is fine, he'd prefer be under the sea or in the water and race, lol. While Noah loves it. However Branden showed up and he cheered his brother on so much! We all did. Branden also chit chatted with a good set of his friends.
The school marathon back in December was pretty fair. It was the first graders running by themselves, then 2nd graders ran alone also, they're still young granted, but not as young and as tiny as the 1st graders. Followed by 3rd and 4th running together, which is fine they start evening out around this age, size wise. And of course the 5th and 6th also ran together because again they sort of even out size wise around then too. I like that way, more fair and level playing field. Especially for the ichinensei's. However for the race that took place this past Sunday, February 3rd Setsubun day. All first graders and second grade runners ran together, all lumped together. Noboru and I could honestly hear the day of the race a few fellow ichinensei mom's said in whispers, "they shouldn't have put the 2 grades together. It isn't fair really. The difference between an ichinesei and ninensei is too great. It's clear a ninensei will win." We listened to the conversation, I mean they were standing right next to us and they knew we had an ichinensei too, but we didn't join the conversation. Then Noboru tells me in English, did you hear that? I said, yes and I agree too. he said me too. But we also both agreed, nothing you can really do about it. It is what it is. No sense in getting all riled up about something you can't really control. So, at the very least. Ichinensei try your hardest. And run a good race. Good luck to everyone. Try your best and most importantly have fun. The extremely tall boy on the right of Noah in this picture, wearing the soccer outfit is a friend of Noah's because they swim for the same swim club and he's a 2nd grader but he's really nice.
The majority of the 2nd graders about 98% of them were polite no pushing or shoving. It's just a small handful that were really pushing. Do you remember my post down below on observation day from just a few days ago? Noah and Kaito playing with the older folks from our town. Anyway, if you see this pic, Poor Kaito in the blue shirt and pants is really getting held back by both kids on each side of him. You can see their hands on his shirt and this picture is mild compared to when the cap gun went off, poor Kaito was left in the dust as they literally pushed K back before they took off running. @_@  Not very sportsman like if you ask me. Yeah and again only a few of the ninensei were behaved like that. And again 98% of them were sweethearts. Much bigger then the ichinensei granted, but still sweethearts and polite kids. When they shot that cap gun in the air, it's sad to say a small handful of the 2nd graders pushed the ichinensei out of their way, like pushed them back and ran, it was sort of surreal really watching that, you're like, what? Did I just see this? And Kaito and a few of the ichinensei got a delayed start of it because of a few pusher back folks. You know as a mother I want/hope and try to be really zen about things. you want to breath in and breath out so to speak. Be calm, not get your feathers too badly ruffled over trivial things like this. And you know for the most part, I really don't sweat the small stuff. But sometimes like when I saw the hands on Kaito by the bigger kids and it was even worse after I snapped this picture. And the smaller younger ones get pushed out of the way. You start to think, "hey that's not cool, not cool at all!!!!" I'm assuming quite a few ichinensei parents weren't too thrilled on Sunday, Noboru was not so thrilled either by the few who did that either. To be honest, it's not very sportsmanship like to do that, to try and push or manhandle your competitor, even if he's just a little fella. Next year when Noah runs this, if he wants to. He'll be the bigger grade of the 2 running and I already told him. Don't treat the ichinensei next year unfairly like how many of the ichinensei were treated this year. And he has promised me, he won't. It just wasn't really a cool thing to do.Sort of turned me off seeing the handful of kids behave like this. And again most didn't behave like this. One has to wonder though, are you trying to run a fair and fun race or are you trying to win at all costs type of race. Kwim. Noah didn't get pushed out of the way at all, because he's really superly active at school. Every break he gets he's outside playing soccer with all the grades kids, 6th, 2nd, 3rd etc and first graders too. Plus he swims and so he knows a lot of the older kids from swimming also. Plus he's constantly in the neighborhood playing with all the kids who live in our community. But the few quieter or smaller kids got stampeded and that really was unfair and very upsetting seeing that. : (  It wasn't even my child but yeah it was upsetting seeing it.
First place, second place and 3rd place went to a ninensei/ second grader, of course. And that's okay.  : )  I am happy that first place went to my very good friends son. He's a sweetheart of a boy. He was one of the 98%.  Meaning he's wonderful to the ichinensei, he wasn't one of the kids pushing at all. So he won fair and square and won a clean race. And he's as fast as lightning, my friends son. So, I think he totally deserved to win. Anyway, I know you can see a few of the soccer giants in front of Noah in this picture. They're 2nd graders clearly, hahaha that super tall one is the one again that Noah swims with every week, so they're good friends. : ) And I must say out of all kids Noah came in 6th place, which isn't so bad really considering how many kids there were and considering the top 1-5 were all ninensei kids. And look at Noah in the orange. And he has a big crowd of 2nd garders and 1st graders behind him! But he's actually honestly so fast he's in front of that pack of kids. So, yeah I was pretty proud, considering he could do so well despite running with an older grade of kids.  : )  He didn't medal. Because he didn't come in 1,2 or 3 out of both grades combined. However he was the fastest ichinensei from both schools. And that's still something to be proud of. They should have given medals to the top 3 ichinensei also that would have at least been fair also. Like how our school gave top 3 for each grade. And also btw (by the way) Noah wearing orange when everyone basically wore blue or black or school gym uniform worked for us best when looking for him as they all run around the field. Meant we could see Noah so clearly as he ran around the rice field. It made it very easily to spot which one was Noah.
Noah is running so fast in this picture. Oh and you remember the December shogakko marathon. How Noah received a bronze medal for coming in 3rd place. Well, the 2 boys who won the gold and silver. Noah ran actually faster then them this past Sunday. That also surprised us this past Sunday. ; ) So, he's getting a little faster, you guys, lol. : ) And Noah is really good friends with the boys who won the gold and silver back in December at the school marathon. Probably because they're all jocks, and they all have the same common interests. They told Noah in playful teasing on Monday of this week a day after the town marathon. "You're so fast, but we will try and beat you at the undokai and marathon next year", Noah said, "okay that sounds good, you guys are equally good too though, so I will try my best to beat you two, too" So the top jocks and sporty boys from hoikuen turn out to be Noah's best set of friends, could be again they all have the same things in common though, like running, soccer and sports, every break and chance they get at school and after lunch. Type thing, who knows. Anyway, just wanted to say  I am so proud of you Noah.  : )  All in all our family enjoyed watching the marathon. Noah had a blast running in it. And on Monday the Yuka-sensei according to Noah told the whole class how fast he ran the day before. A lot of the older kids heard about it too and high fived him all day Monday of this week, lol.  Anyway, go skinny chicken legs go!!!! Hahaha. : )