Runners are being invited to take part in the first 100-mile trail race around Japan's iconic Mount Fuji in the first international sister race to Europe's famous Ultra-Trail du Mont Blanc.
Scheduled for the weekend of May 20 to 22, the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji will start at 3pm on Friday, May 20 with a course stretching 160 km around the base of the tallest mountain in Japan. The cumulative gain in altitude along the route is around 8,000 meters, according to the organizers, and a time limit of 48 hours has been placed on the race.
A second "short course" will be run simultaneously, starting in Shizuoka City and ending in Yamanashi Prefecture. The 90km route includes an altitude gain of some 4,000 meters and the time limit has been set at 26 hours.
According to the organizers, both races are open to participants from anywhere in the world and there is a hope that the Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji will evolve into an annual event.
"Participants must run or walk a long-distance course around the base of Mount Fuji consisting of hiking trails, walking paths and fire breaks," the organizing committee said in a statement. "The objective of this race is to convey the importance of self-challenge and the excitement of trail running, as well as the beauty of the nature surrounding the Mount Fuji region."
The goal of the race is not necessarily to be the fastest runner or to compete against other people, said the committee, but to take part in a journey that is both mentally and physically challenging, pushes those who take part to their limits and covers an extraordinary distance.
"These trails have been created over many years by the people who live, work and enjoy the mountains," the organizers said. "It is important for those that use these trails for recreation to understand and respect the fact that these trails are still actively used by these people.
"This race aims to provide mutual understanding between these different users and help communicate and promote the sharing of these trails."
Dates: May 20-22, 2011
Entry fee: Y24,000 (€214) for the 160km Ultra-Trail Mount Fuji or Y18,000 (€160) for the 90km Shizuoka to Yamanashi race.
Further information: http://www.ultratrailmf.com
To enter, go to http://runnet.jp/ (in Japanese) or contact Pauline Kitamura, ULTRA-TRAIL Mt. FUJI, International Media/Athlete Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.