The gun went off at 09:00 on 16May but we knew this would have been a long journey before reaching the finish line and an unusual race. In fact it does not really fit the terms of "race" as there is no individual time because each Team of 4 participants has to register together at each of the 8 checkpoints.
It took our Team 23 hours and 25 minutes to complete the 100Km with the satisfaction to finish within 24 hours and placing 8th over about 220 Teams.
The Trailwalker concept originated in Hong Kong in 1981 as a contest between the various regiments of the British armed forces and was opened to the public in 1986 and taken over by British charity Oxfam in 1997 with the departure of the British from Hong Kong. Oxfam has since taken the event to Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Japan (starting last year) and later this year to Belgium.
I personally like 5K and 10K races and I did not have any very specific training to chalenge this distance, tough I kept my usual 40/50KM weekly of intensive run.
There are 4 mountains with an elevation over 1200m to climb and descend! The course is steep with tree roots and slippery mud or rocks and I let you imagine what does this mean during the night. For me the terrain was particularly difficult during the night while going downhill, though as careful as I could, I lost my balance twice and almost fell down but miraculously I made it to regain before hitting hard the ground! I really thought I was going to break an ankle, a leg or my head!
There are scenic sections through forests, with mountain and lake views and as well as a final scene at KM 96 over a snowcapped Mt Fuji that really refresh your soul and your legs because it gives you the sign that you are "almost there".
At the end of the event I had two painful blisters under my two big toenails and I had to pierce my nails in order to clean them. However, one got infected so that I had to go for quite a painful small operation to remove all the liquid behind my toenail.
I now like even more my usual 5K or 10K races but I can say to have a stronger confidence and a bigger respect for my Team Mates and our supporting crew. My Team Mates spirit and courage helped me to go through this event and the supporting crew were the real unsung heroes of the event: always there not only for us but also for the other 4 Teams my Company had entered in this event.
Through our friends and family we have also raised about JPY340,000 and we are still collecting untill 16JUN, so please support us by clicking to this link: