I love racing in Japan. I love the technical trails, the culture and the hospitality from the amazing Japanese people. Racing a Ultra Trail World Tour event around the only now listed World Heritage site Mt Fuji or Fuji-san is a real special experience of a lifetime. This year the world famous Cherry Blossoms were blooming at Kawaguchiko the town closest to the start of the UTMF with the best views of Fuji-san which in itself is extremely rare to catch, and It is a special treat to experience this world renowned event and the event of the Ultra Trail Mt Fuji UTMF 2014 had changed.
The Ultra Trail Mt Fuji (UTMF) and Japan lived up to it’s reputation on all fronts. Apart from the opportunity to run around Mt Fuji and experience this perfect mountain in all it’s glory, the UTMF course was so tough, ruggered and really technical. Some of the climbs were so steep they were un runnable, with a few of them needing ropes for safety and to just be able to scale the rock face on the mountain. At the gear check in we were made to show our travel insurance policy. WTF? Are you serious? What on earth would I need accident cover for?
How hard could the UTMF be? It can’t be that hard, people had finished it in 2012. If they could do it so could I. My goal for the UTMF was first to finish the course in one piece, finish the course un injured and hope that my effort would be good enough to give me a top 5 finish. This was my first true international event and I wanted to make sure I was representing inov-8+Descente, Barefoot Inc, Hammer, injinji, Skirt Sports, and Zenzah to my fullest capabilities. With these goals in mind I prepared for my 2nd 100M only 1 month after completing my 1st Northburn 100M in March.