Saturday, September 27, 2014

Winning A Lottery

My friends, Hana Harun and Felice Huang, ran the Toyko Marathon earlier this year. They both achieved their respective PBs, and they came home with a lot of good things to say about the event. Apparently, it's a well sought-after race, and because of its popularity, it's not easy to enter. Unlike many other marathons in the region, the organiser of the Tokyo Marathon had introduced a lottery system where interested runners were required to submit their names, and then chosen randomly at a later date. There were a few others within our circle of friends who had submitted their names, but only Hana and Felice were successful.

I was told that a limit of about 30,000 runners had been set for this year, but the organiser announced recently that more than 300,000 people have submitted their names to run the race. The race had in fact been oversubscribed by more than 10 times!

A couple of months ago, when the Tokyo Marathon opened for registration, a few of us from KK decided to try our luck. I've never been to Japan, and I reckoned that if I could get a slot in the Tokyo Marathon, it would be a good opportunity to spend a few days to tour the city. 

Those of you who've been following this blog would know that I'm not a very lucky chap when it comes to this sort of things. I've attended many, many events where lucky draws were on offer, and as far as I can remember, I only won once in a dinner party—I believe it was a fancy digital camera. But as fate would have it, I had already left the party when my name was called, and that camera was eventually given to someone else! So I guess I did not really win that lucky draw after all!

Now what's the odds of getting my name picked for the Tokyo Marathon? And beyond that, what's the odds of my friends' names getting picked too? Bear in mind that there's a less than 10% chance of it happening. Although I jokingly said to my friends that I was confident to be picked, the truth was that it seemed like a hopeless case!

That's why I was pleasantly surprised when I received an email from the organiser 2 days ago, informing me that I'm in. I thought that was quite amazing. But little did I know that there were several more surprises in store. One by one, my friends received emails from the organiser too, informing them that their applications to enter the race have also been successful! So now I guess it's time to start looking into flight options as well as booking hotels etc.

This would also mean that I will be spending my Chinese New Year holidays next year in Japan. I was told that hotels cost a bomb in Tokyo, so perhaps I should start saving from now. But the most dreadful thing is that I'll have to go back to serious training again soon. The thought of running and running and more running; the waking up in the wee hours of the morning over the weekends—Oh! I shudder just thinking of all those! This will be another PB-hunting mission!

The hole that's gonna appear in my pocket; the torture of the training; the wee-hour sleep that I'll have to sacrifice. Yeah, sure, my name has been picked. But how come I don't feel like I've won?

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