tokyo running days

A marathoner / newbie triathlete's training blog.

Monday, June 8

Mt. Fuji Hill Climb

Yesterday, I did my first Mt. Fuji Hill Climb race. It's one of the biggest cycling events in Japan and more than 5,000 participants gathered in a park at north foot of Mt. Fuji. The weather turned out to be great and we could see gorgeous Mt. Fuji from the starting area as you see in the pic.

I like the colourfulness of bike races. It's fun to watch colourful bike gear and pricy bikes. Being always minority on the road, it's a nice feeling to see 5,000 cyclists at once and dominate whole road to 5th station of Mt. Fuji.

The course is about 25km all the way uphill to Mt. Fuji 5th station (go-gome), from 1,035m to 2,305m. It may sound tough, but ascent is very mild, there's no more than 8% slope, not like 15 % of Utsukushigahara. Still, you need some work to keep climbing for all the way 25km, but great scenary and cool fresh mountain air helped a lot.

After a 100 minutes of hard work, I finally reached the goal at the 5th station. Hundreds of racers who left me or passed me were already there, celebrating each other, eating, drinking and getting ready for descent.

This descent part is the most fun. I can say I climbed more than 1,000m because of this. You cannot race this part because it's too dangerous (I saw one accident on the way), but 25km all the way down hill with no car was such a thrill! It's the reward only for who complited the race.

My official time was 1:39:50, 14th in 36+ women category (out of 141 finishers, so I was top 10%).

This is highly recommendable bike race for beginners as well as experienced cyclinsts. They also allow flat handlebars and MTB's and I saw many bikes with small wheels. If you feel like doing something different next year, you should count on this.

The post-race udon was delicious!