On September 15th, I completed my first trail run. Trail running is awesome. What a great way to spend a day in the mountains and the mountains of Hakuba are beautiful.
My friend and I waited too long to sign up for the race so we missed out on signing up for the middle course. Only spots on the long course were left open. We signed up. 50km and 2200m of incline over three mountains. This race was going to be tough.
We spent most of our training in flat Tokyo so those mountains were a shocker.
The race was the day before a major typhoon so we really lucked out. The next day the rain was pouring and the wind was pounding. But on our race day, the temperature was cool with just a sprinkle of rain. I have to say that I just love the scenery around Hakuba. The race was a proper trail race with most of the running on trails through mountains. The course was tough with the first mountain starting at around the 1.5km mark. Most of us walked as fast as we could up the mountains, but I am sure the lead guys and girls were running it. The mountains went straight up and down (I can’t wait to ski them in the winter).
I wear Vibram Five Fingers when I run and I wore my normal road shoes for the race. That was a big mistake. I fell a lot, and fell hard on the slippery downhills. I really felt like I wouldn’t be able to keep going after the second mountain. But I did keep going, took my time at the recovery station and was completely on empty at the third mountain, which was the lowest but felt the tallest.
I bought a GoPro camera the week before the race and yes, took movies along the entire course.
Check out the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK1w5E75JtE
And check out the course homepage here: http://www.hakubatrail.com/top.html
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