04 May 2012

Done - 600+200+200+300 - And Fundraising Update

On a climb in interior Akita Prefecture -- lots of snow near the top of the pass
I finished around 9pm Thursday night. Over 300 km. A few hours mid-day were wet, and then the last 25% or more was very dark and wet, as were the 11-12 Kms to our hotel in Tendou. This, plus a few stretches with heavy traffic, turned an otherwise relatively easy (for Japan) course into a tough day.

Jerome, who rested on Wednesday instead of riding, went ahead of me from the start pulling other fast riders and finished around 2 hours faster. He plans to ride again today ... whereas I will take the train home.

The total official distance traveled over five days (rounding down) is 612+201+203+302 or 1318 kms.
Actual distance traveled was 1375 kms or more, given the need to go from the finish to a hotel and then to the next day's start, plus various small side trips.

Jerome at Hirosaki Castle - rest day
UPDATE:  Jerome finished the final 400 km early Saturday morning after another 23 hours of riding.  He called to tell me he had arrived safely, and used the term "nightmare" at least twice in our brief conversation.  The rain -- coupled with constant headwinds over the last part of the ride -- and the very long climb over Shirabu Pass in the mountains of western Fukushima, took a toll.

Jerome's official total distance for the week is over 1500 kms.  612+201+302+410=1525.  He once again proved himself a very strong rider ... far stronger than I am.  I knew that if I attempted the last 400, the punishment to my body would be such that I could not recover for the Tokyo-Itoigawa Fastrun Classic on May 19, and maybe even not for planned rides in June and July.  As it is, I think the week has helped make me stronger, instead of wearing me down.
The sun briefly breaks through at dawn Thursday as we leave Hirosaki
The Hirosaki Castle that Jerome visited on Wednesday looked slightly different than it did in January when Misako and I were there on our yukiguni onsen trip -- a few more tourists, and a bit less snow.

FUNDRAISING UPDATE:  I defer to the MoFo Tokyo in-kind donation team on whether they want to count "official" 1318 kms or "actual" 1375 kms, but at 399 yen per kilometer the total raised for charity would be either 525882 yen and 548625 yen.  In either case it is more than US$6500.

Plus, I was pleased to get a very generous pledge of 42 yen per kilometer from a party who wishes to remain anonymous.  That works out to another 55356 yen (US$693) at the official distance, though it will go to a different charity.  I would only note that anyone who would pledge "42" yen must be one of the following:

(1) a big Douglas Adams fan, since The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy identifies 42 as "The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe and Everything",
(2) a member of Germany's Pirate Party, or maybe a reader of the Economist -- which recently had a nice article about the Pirate Party's decision to put forward 42 candidates for election in North Rhine-Westphalia.  (Apparently they are big fans of Douglas Adams), or perhaps
(3) a Japanese person who was trying to cast an evil spell upon me, since "42" or "shi-ni" could mean "going to one's death".

I can assure you that the pledge came from a non-Japanese reader, and as you can see, we survived the ride!

Lastly, on the topic of lucky and unlucky numbers, I was very glad that the MoFo Tokyo office pledges came in at 399 yen, just UNDER 400 yen per km, since the time limit for completing the longest, 600 km segment, was 40 hours.  As long as we finished in 39.9 hours, we would be okay.

Peace sign, or V for Victory, from Inagaki-san, who plans to do the Cascade 1200 and Rocky Mountain 1200 rides this summer -- as do I


Anonymous said...

Congratulations and thank you so much!!
MoFo's employee

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and thank you so much!

MoFo employee

Richard said...

Mind boggling.

Years ago (decades ago ..) I could do similar exploits on foot (1,000 miles across a desert, or through the Andes, or in a jungle), but now, at an age age only a few years older than you too, I am a shadow of my former self.

I read in awe at what you both manage to accomplish.