Interview: Hakusan Geotrail

07 Jul 2015 07:35
Jean-Loup Fenaux
Focus on a race Interview
Mountain course at 2,702 meters maximum height

Hello, on August 22nd 2015, you’ll be organizing the Hakusan Geotrail. Can you tell us where it is located?

Hakusan Geotrail is located in Japan, at the foothills of Mt. Hakusan near the city of Hakusan in the Ishikawa prefecture.

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

This will be our second race this year. Mt.Hakusan is a famous sacred mountain in Japan and this area is part of the Hakusan National Park and Hakusan-Tedorigawa Geopark. This area is Syugendou; Japanese mountain asceticism-shamanism incorporating Shinto and Buddhist concepts. The race will help runners grow.

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

The route is 250 kilometers (155 miles) long with 15,000 meters of positive elevation gain. The terrain is quite varied includes grasslands, farmlands, dirt tracks, riverbeds, rolling hills, mountain valleys, plains and plateaus.
During the race, runners will discover Japanese nature of mountain and Japanese people.

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

I expect 100 runners on Saturday morning.
The concept of the race is that competitors leave the starting line and “navigate”, by following course markers, through a number of checkpoints to the finishing line of each stage as quickly as they can. Competitors must provide and carry their own food, gear and clothing as stated in the Mandatory Equipment List The only things we provide is water and a place in a tent to spend the night. No outside assistance is permitted.

forest course 2

Engaging in a multiday race for someone who has only experienced marathons or ultra marathons may be daunting. Do you have any recommendations for a newcomer?

We welcome newcomer! The time limits we have set for each stage are quite long and shouldn’t be a problem for any runner discovering multiday racing with us.

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

Summertime in the area where the race is run, can be quite hot during the day with temperatures over 30°C (86°F). The nights should be cooler, with temperature dropping to 20°C (68°F). We also have to take into account that the race is run in a mountain environment. At the top of Mt. Hakusan, 2,702 m above sea level, the temperature can drop below 10°C (50°F).

Start for Hakusan Geotrail 2014

Have you planned festivities around the event?

We will have two parties during which we’ll provide food and brevages. One before the race, when all the administrative tasks for the check-in are over and another one once the race is over after the end of the 7 days allotated racing period.

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

I would recommend you to visit the Shirayama Hime Shrine in Hakusan. You should then spend some time in Kanazawa City which is not far. It is one of the most popular sightseeings of Japan and a great way to discover Japanese culture. You should also explore Shirakawa-go, a village included in the UNESCO world heritage sites which is also located near Hakusan City.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Hakusan Geotrail?

Join the Hakusan Geotrail, it will change your life for the best.

Interview with Takeshi Akasaka. Takeshi has run many desert marathons and now dreams to create races that can change peoples life.