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Race Report for the first Swacchi Municipally & Individuals road race in Shimofusa Friendly Park

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Race Report From Swacchi member Alex


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Race Report for the first Swacchi Municipally & Individuals road race in Shimofusa Friendly Park

When: 26/June/2016 9am Start
Place: Shimofusa Friendly Park (Sports part in rural area)
15km from Narita Airport
50km from SPORTS CYCLE SHOP Swacchi
70km from Tokyo Station
Distance: 50laps of 1.5km cycling course containing a small climb
System: Individual race plus team points based competition with teams being formed based on riders municipality. Points were also accumulated by volunteers.



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Before the race there was conflicting expectations for the event. I believed it was to be a friendly race yet rumors started circulating that Muneyoshi-san (of Swacchi staff and the most feared competitor) and Ishii-san will race hard from the start. Since riders were to be ‘pulled’ (i.e. couldn’t continue) after getting lapped perhaps many (including me) were worried should these two riders attack early in the race!



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For myself it was my first race in a few years so I was feeling a little nervous. I was also concerned due to the additional weight around my waist, however fortunately the hill turned out to be more of a ‘power climb’ and perhaps did not suit Muneyoshi-sans tendency towards high cadence.



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Just before the race Tenchou-san (aka Suwa-san, aka Michiaki, note: Tenchou means Store-master) conducted a mock ‘opening ceremony’ before laying down the rules for the race – safety is a high priority with Swacchi which is typical of Japan.



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From the start the pace was high but controlled, and for the first few laps the race held together.
The first dangerous attack was made by Morita-san and Kurosawa-san – yet luckily it was early enough in the race that we could pull them back after some laps off the front.



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A few people managed some time off the front, including myself, however for the last 20 laps it turned into a race of attrition at the front.



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In the last few laps there was just five of us left at the front: Ishii-san, Muneyoshi-san, Orihara-san, Tanaka-san and (somehow) myself. I was really struggling to stick with everyone, yet luckily it came down to a small sprint finish which is my forte. Tanaka-san and Orihara-san held the front in the last lap however Ishii-san quickly came around in the sprint and none of us could follow his turn of speed.



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For myself I crossed the line with my heart rate at a record 199bpm (a little scary as I thought hear rate dropped with Edge…) and found myself physically sick under a tree.
In the end half of the field finished the 50laps and everyone did at least 20 laps. So the system worked well.
By my speed we averaged ~37km/hr for the 75km which is a high pace given the humidity, heat, undulating course and fluctuating pace due to attacks.



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With a professional cameraman, certificates and prizes it was a well run little event. My wife and 6month old child attended and they were quickly made to feel at home amongst everybody.




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Actually this was perhaps one of the most enjoyable races I have participated in. It was competitive but not aggressive. The comrade within the Swacchi community is strong and there is simply a great vibe. The Swacchi members strike a great balance between being serious towards the sport but also light hearted and fun.



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I look forward to the next Swacchi Road Race – I plan to take my revenge on Ishii-san!!



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Thank you for the chance to participate, and thank you to the volunteers at the race.





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