Shin Matsuura, Vasque's International Division Manager, gives us the rundown on the UTMF this year:
Over the last weekend, the biggest 100 mile trail race in Japan - and a sister ultra race event of UTMB
- Ultra Trail Mt. Fuji 2013 was held in Mt. Fuji area.
Check out this video for some live footage: http://www.trailrunner.jp/2013/04/utmfsty.html
It was a bright couple of days at the races (UTMF 100 mile & STY 90 km). Shy lady, Mt. Fuji showed its elegance all two days without clouds and we could see her 360 degree view around us supporting the races.
All the runners said the views of Mt. Fuji during the hard technical trail during sunset, nighttime with the full moon, sunrise, and throughout the daytime were more than tongue can tell.
A total of 2,000 runners from across the globe came to run one of these races (800 ran for UTMF). More than 250 out of 2,000 were from Asia, Europe, North America, South America, and Down Under! It had quite an international flavor! They all enjoyed the beauty of Mt.Fuji as well as the cultural experience throughout this event.
As of last year, A&F exhibited our Vasque / Ultra Spire / Clif Bar booth at the pavilion and exposed our trail running products for 4 days before / after the races.
5 of our AF Vasque support runners did finish without retiring or injury. Here are their results:
Mr. Chiharu Watanabe: Pendulum
20th / 800 runners 24:01:07
Solid! He came in 45 minutes faster than he planned! He'll run an international race in Andorra this coming summer. Still a powerful guy of 46 years! He's a star of middle aged men like us!!
Mr. Katsuya Ishi (new): Pendulum
12th / 800 runners 23:15:51
New to Vasque, young firefighter and very quiet guy but this young man has a lot of potential!
Mr. Hiroshi Iijima: Pendulum
approx 40th / 800 runners 31:53:29
He's been with Vasque the longest - ever since the debut of the Velocity! He had a serious injury two years ago but is fully recovered! He also managed / ran Trans Alps race for 5 days to cross three Japanese Alps range from the west coast to east coast and finished!
Ms. Hitomi Ogawa: Pendulum
female 3rd / 240 female 26:15:25
1st among all Japanese females! She beat Salomon's Hiroko - who won last year! (Hitomi was 2nd last year.) She could have finished second but she said she got mentally lost at the very end. But she learned to be more competitive from this race among international runners. It's been a very great season for her since the last year or two. Now she's definetly one of top ultra runners.