Naha Marathon — A Community Event
Pictures and more on the 2019 Naha Marathon


Okinawa.Org Staff
Dec 26, 2018
The Naha Marathon is quite popular, ranking in on Wikipedia at #68 for the largest running events, with over 20,000 runners each year. I've not been to any other marathon or seen any others myself, other than the Naha Marathon as it passes by my house, but it seems to be a spectator sport to some degree with a huge community turnout throughout the entire course.

Naha Marathon: A spectator sport?

It's great to see people that made it the approximate 37 kilometers to this point in great costumes and having a fun time.

Santa running the 35th Naha Marathon Someone wearing a Pikachu hat running by

It was hotter this year than previous years which I've seen some pretty intense costumes and could only imagine how much water they're losing running in them.

But, it's a community event with ordinary people helping out pass out water.

Lady passing out water during the 2019 Naha Marathon

Kids even help out and people also pass out chocolates and Aquarius packs and even dried fruits.

Kids passing out water during the 2019 Naha Marathon Someone handing out chocolates and Aquarius to the runners of the 35th Naha Marathon People passing out dried fruits to the marathon runners

But of course, there is official staff that passes out salt and water at various booths along the way as well as safety crew.

Tent with Naha Marathon staff passing out salt and water to runners AED safety crew on standby during the 35th Naha Marathon

At this point, I feel bad for those that give up since they're so close (I think about 3-4 kilometers away)...

Runner sitting it out at about the 40km mark of the 35th Naha Marathon (2019)

...hopefully, he got up enough courage and was able to walk the rest of the way as it's within reach at this point.

The only irritant of living along the course is if I have to make an errand, the 331 Bypass (58) is blocked off so I have to use the crowded backroads or wait until the blockades are lifted.

Roads blocked off for the 2019 Naha Marathon
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New member
Dec 19, 2019
Thanks for sharing this!

My wife and I ran the Vancouver Sun Run (10km) in spring and was pretty challenging. It was my first long run and there was a freak hail storm in the beginning of the race which chilled us to the bone... Basically by the end of it I was feeling pretty grumpy and tired as I had not trained much before it. I think I ran around 1hr 14min for that.

We are hoping to run a full marathon next year or in 2021. Have become a casual runner since then and brought my 10km run time down to 57 minutes! Still a ways to go before doing a marathon but am excited to finally do it, although will have to get used to running in a hotter and more humid climate.



Okinawa.Org Staff
Dec 26, 2018
My wife and I ran the Vancouver Sun Run (10km) in spring and was pretty challenging.
It takes time to build up to that kind of endurance.

I knew that I had to make a change in my lifestyle when I reached 90kg and had about 0 muscle. In other words, I was obese and on the verge of diabetes and even caused myself to develop hypogonadism later in life.

However, I started at 500m jogs every so often up until 1km, which was very challenging with exercise-induced asthma. But, after persistence to try and make a change, I got up to 3km.

I figured if I could get up to 3km, 5km would be in reach too... and it was. Then, I reached my maximum of 10km. I would run 10km every three days to recover and 3km-5km in-between with other activities too in order to increase the time of my run such as timed interval running/walking.

I never timed my 10km runs, but I knew that I could do it. Since I knew I could do it then, I always told myself that I could do the marathon if I kept at it.

But, work got in the way and I had to start biking instead there instead as I was only here for 6-8 months at the time and finding anything was rough (off-topic, but I found something close enough that allowed us to get by). My running decreased, but, with the weight loss, I felt way better physically as I could get up or walk up one flight of stairs and not be winded.

We are hoping to run a full marathon next year or in 2021.
I probably won't be running it for a while, but it is on my to-do list, even if I am a 6-hour finisher (maximum time allowed). But if you do run the Naha Marathon, you'll run by my house in the very last stretch, unless you decide on doing to half marathon instead.

And if you ran 10km, an extra 32km is nothing if you keep adding 100m-500m to each smaller run than a 10km. You'll be at that 42.195km by 2021 for sure. It will just take practice and dedication.

My advice to you is to focus on length and endurance, and once you hit the 10km, add in speed and do 10.25km with 3-5km runs in between. On days that you just don't feel like doing a 5k, run 100 meters and walk 100 ten times; that's it. That alone will allow you to increase speed and give your body enough time to heal for another 5er or 10er.

If you've run 10km before, you can finish that marathon to get the medal and your names in the newspaper as a finisher. You just need a little push to do it.

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