Yokota's Frostbite Road Races draw record crowd
YOKOTA AIR BASE, JAPAN — For once the name didn’t quite live up to its billing, as a bright, cloud-free day shone over Yokota on Sunday for its annual Frostbite Road Races.
This year attracted the largest number of participants in the event’s 29-year history, with a total of about 9,000 people running in the half-marathon, 3K and children’s-family 2K races, said Jeffrey Dickerhoff, Yokota Striders club president.
“It is nice to have so many Japanese people come to the base,” said this year’s second-place half-marathon finisher, Thomas Frazer, a military dependent at Yokosuka Naval Base.
Frazer, who won the race last year, said he tried to catch up to this year’s winner, Youichi Kouno, but Kouno was just too fast.
U.S. and Japanese runners weren’t the only ones racing in the 40-degree weather. Liz Maguire, of Australia, said she found out about the half-marathon online.
“I originally came to Japan to go skiing,” Maguire said. “[I] wasn’t expecting anything as big as this. It was huge.”
Many runners also competed in costume; Winnie the Pooh outfits were Maguire’s favorites.
“How do they do it?” she said.
It was a bit chilly, but Dickerhoff said weather was better than last year, when it snowed.
The top finishers ...Half-Marathon Male (Overall)
1. Youichi Kouno 1:07:082. Thomas Frazer 1:10:063. Hiroshi Okuma 1:10:18
Half-Marathon Female (Overall)
1. Hisako Sasaki 1:23:122. Akiko Komatsu 1:24:443. Midori Takeda 1:26:501
3K Male (Overall)
1. Jun Negishi 12:502. Masato Hatano 13:123. Akihiko Kiraku 13:13
3K Female (Overall)
1. Mitsuyo Nakamura 14:382. Mari Miyano 14:563. Natsuki Takada 15:00
2K Children-Family Run (Overall)
1. Hiroshi Kinebuchi 7:502. Michinori Sato 8:083. Nobuyasu 10:22