MARINE CORPS AIR STATION IWAKUNI, Japan --
In the cold overcast skies along the cold stone sea wall, runners braved the cold strong winds to race in the 2011 Gokukan 5 km Run behind the IronWorks Gym here Feb. 11.
The question, “what does Gokukan stand for?” was asked. Extreme cold is the answer.
The Gokukan 5 km Run was a race between friendly competitors for the love of running, no matter the climate.
“As long as the competitors had fun, I think the run was a success,” said Thomas Durning, the IronWorks Gym athletic director.
Many runners who enjoyed each other’s company and shared a love to exercise came out to the event.
“I came out here to have fun and run with my buddies,” Bruce B. West, a Gokukan 5K runner said. “I feel good being with people and enjoying life.”
Even though the race was just for fun, someone had to win. On that cold day, only one competitor could be seen before the others in the distance. Nobuhisa Tanigawa, a Gokukan 5K runner, was the first to cross the finish line with a completion time of 18:09.
“I was in good condition today for the run,” Tanigawa said. “I train everyday to stay that way.”
West, who came out to run with his friends, trains because he likes to exercise.
“I run a couple of times a week and do regular PT,” said West. “It’s a blast.”
The competitors who showed up finished the run despite the weather and were few in numbers.
“I hope the run keeps getting bigger and bigger every year,” said Tanigawa.
This run was only a stepping stone for future Marine Corps Community Services athletic events.
“You run to get better at running,” Durning said. “This event was to keep people moving before spring time comes, so they are ready for more races that we have coming up.”
With new and exciting events on the horizon, the MCCS staff encouraged more runners to come out to compete.
“I would recommend everybody to come out to our events because they’re fun and full of exercise,” Durning said.
With this year’s Gokukan 5 kilometer race over and done with, the runners can continue to train for the upcoming 5th annual Kintai Road Race March 6.