tokyo running days

A marathoner / newbie triathlete's training blog.

Tuesday, June 26

Tour de Utsukushigahara

Thanks to Phil's organisation, I completed my first bike (only) race last Sunday. It is called "Tour de Utsukushigahara", it's a hill climb race and the course is 21.6km long with 1,270m elevation gain. I always wanted to do this race and was happy that finally I could do it.

2,300 cyclists in their colourful bike jerseys gathered in a small onsen town near Matsumoto, Nagano prefecture. The atomosphere is totally different from running events and even from triathlons.

The first coulple of km was very steep, like a wall, but when you conquer it, the slope gets milder, well, after experiencing 18% of hill, you feel anything is mild. After that, I just kept climbing and climbing until 5km to go point, that was solid sober effort with lots of patience. Then, here comes my favorite part! A long down hill with some curves, and uphill that you can climb up by the momentum of previous down hill, then down again (yeah!) and the last short uphill to the finish line. My time was 1h50m07s, 35th out of 95 women.

Anna did great, too. Before the start, she was so nervous and worrying about being cut-off, even talking about DNS, but she completed the race with 2h04m18s, 60th place.

Phil finished under 2 hours and he looked happy to improve his time from last year.

Here is the Results.

I shared a room with a girl called Naoko, she told me a lot about bike maintenance. Phil and she were really surprized when I told them I have never put oil to the chain and derailer since I got my bike and told me how to do it. I really appriciate it, and promise that I will do it by myself from now on.

The onsen ryokan we stayed was great, too. Phil's parents-in-low run it.

Including a 72km ride from Ueda to Matsumoto on Saturday, I completed 94km for two days.


At June 27, 2007, Blogger Jay said...

Mika - You are so tough and versatile. 1:50:07 is totally great. It doesn't sound like you had any terrible misadventures climbing up "the wall" during the first few kilometers. You should be ready for France next year.
Your blog reminds me, ever since my bike lubricant was confiscated at the airport last year I never oil my chain...

At June 27, 2007, Blogger Keren_m said...

Great result! I now need to be worried at Suzu that you will out bike me. Of course, you can out run me!

At June 29, 2007, Blogger mika t. said...

Jay, thans for your comment. Since I read your race report about Utsukushi 2 years ago, I have been looking forward to doing this race some day. I think I will do this next year, too.

Keren, no, you are always better cyclist and now stronger runner as well. Now it's time to ride together for Suzu! Yoroshiku, master.

At June 30, 2007, Blogger oldsprinter said...

I really want to ride this event next year. Please remind me! (Or tell me if there's a similar race I can do).

At July 14, 2009, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Japanofiles podcast has a segment on the most recent "Tour de Utsukushigahara" bicycle race.
Thought you might be interested.


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