Inagawa 100km Ultra "TOASHI" Fun Run

08 Jul 2013 08:06
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview

Hello, on Octobre 26th 2013, you’ll be organizing the Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run. Can you tell us where it is located?

Our event will be held in beautiful Minami-Aizu, Fukushima Prefecture, in the northern part of Japan.

How old is the race and why was it created in the first place?

This will be our fourth anniversary and hope our best race so far. This event was conceived by the famous Japanese ultra-runner Michiyoshi Kaiho, who is known in the west for twice completing the Trans-USA foot race.

Here in Japan, Mr. Kaiho notably sets several ultra-races in unexplored Japan, in order to give participants the opportunity to communicate with local people and also learn to appreciate more deeply the Japan they may not know. Mr. Kaiho also takes pains to create the most challenging courses imaginable to create an unforgettable experience.

Credit : Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

This course will certainly challenge even seasoned ultra-runners as it boasts 1,100m difference in elevation while winding along the beautiful Inagawa River, featuring breath-taking views in a national park included in the course.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

We are targeting 300 runners of all levels of ultra-running experience.

Do you organize other races during the Weekend? If so, on what distances?

There is only a 100k.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

Our area gets rather chilly in the morning but tends to warm up quickly during the day.

Credit : Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

Festivities per se have not been organized but along the course there will be numerous aid stations which offer chances to sample Minami-Aizu cuisine and meet the friendly locals. Small shops of local foods, farm products and sake also be set up near the goal.

The race finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Minami-Aizu before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

We are happy to say this area is famous throughout Japan for its amazing hot springs, so a bath before or after the race is definitely recommended. Minami-Aizu is also famous for hospitality, so guests of every nationality will be treated royally.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Inagawa 100km Ultra “TOASHI” Fun Run?

The Inagawa 100km Ultra Fun Run sets an amazing physical challenge in an exotic location unknown even to many Japanese in the best season to enjoy the natural beauty, delicious food, and warm welcome of local people.

Interview with Fumi Sakai, representing the organizers of the event. Junko’s family runs a small guest house there. Her husband who is mainly engaging in her family carpenter business had never ran long distance but finished one of Mr. Kaiho’s 100k ultra races just once in his life after we started to work with him to start this Inagawa race. His parents in 80s are still very active at field and mountain work and enjoy hosting guests. Since coming to this area she has fallen in love with the charms of Minami-Aizu and its people and have lived here ever since. Though not a runner herself, she really enjoys meeting athletes and welcoming them to her home, Minami-Aidu.