Izu Trail Journey ’17

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I wouldn’t have been able to run that race without Miyuki unconditional Support especially with last minute sting !
Thank You , Sweet Heart !

IZU Trail Journey 2017 – DIY !

a ) Registration Period Under some Racer Qualifications
* Non-residents (and non-Japanese speaking residents who need to sign up in English):
Thu. Jun 1, 2017 12:00 (noon) – Mon. Jul 31, 11:59pm 2017 ( First come first serve basis)
* Be 18 years of age or older as of race day. 🙂
* Have completed at least one trail running race that is 30 km or longer during the period between June 1, 2015 up until race registration date.

My 2016 Tarawera 50 km in NZ came handy perfectly

When my Entry confirmation hit my mail box it was time to confirm / pay JPY 19,500 and start talking logistics .

b ) Accommodation
I have truthly no desire going through the couple of flops that came along after registration
nor explaining how AVID ADVENTURES JAPAN has been very deceptive and plain money driven

With Miyuki’s Full Support :
We went through English and Japanese Websites looking for Ryokans or Minshukus
Called each one from NZ
Until one Owner after a deep thought said that providing a Room without Meals within walking distance from the start could be doable . All good . Bingo !

c ) Transportation
Race organization again had a very expensive shuttle from nearby Ikebukuro
– Miyuki found me a Bus from Shinjuku to Shuzenji
– Then, of course , when you reach the last stop , a race shuttle is there waiting for you at ¥ 1500 taking you to Matsuzaki Town

At finishing line :
After 71.7 km of running you need to get to the Train station located 2 km away
At 9 pm dark and cold , walking is barely an option .
So you can either wait for public bus that runs once in a while
Or take Race shuttle for , again , ¥ 1500 .

From there – Jump on Shinkansen back to Tokyo

d ) Training
From June to Race day according to my Strava logs
– June : 57 Km a month mainly Penang Hill
– July : 87 KM a month mainly Penang Hill then Konandai
– August : 127 km a month – Konandai trail including Night runs
– Sept : 210 Km a month – trails in NZ
– Oct ; 351 km a month – Lot of Stairs in NZ
– Nov ; 305 km a month — Lot of Stairs in NZ
– First Dec : tapering 18 km – 4 activities

e ) Weight :
From June to Race day : I shredded 12 kg
Cutting off dairy and read meat ,
Reducing beer consumption to almost zero but having Wine now and then
Zero Alcohol for a week prior Race .

f ) Costs
Entry fee : 19. 500 ¥
Bus to Shuzenji : 2520 ¥
Shuttle to starting line : 1500 ¥
Minshuku : 5000 ¥
Food prior race : 2000 ¥
Shuttle from finishing line : 1500 ¥
Train to Mishima about 500 ¥
Toyoko Inn where I stayed after Race : 6000 ¥
Dinner about 2000 ¥
Bus back to Home : about 2500 ¥

Plus hidden expenses such as Mandatory gear :
New rain Jacket : 10 000 ¥
Hot foldable coffee cup : 600 ¥


• Saturday at expo •
All went fine , by the time I arrived a long line had formed
but I could skip it by asking to have an English interpreter 🙂

– Mandatory Gear from Race official list :
1. Course map, compass (electronic compasses are acceptable)
2. Mobile phone (you must be able to make/receive calls in Japan with this mobile phone). Please input the race’s emergency number. Make sure your phone is fully charged before the race.
3. Personal cup for hot/cold drinks at aid stations (minimum 150cc size). No glass bottles allowed.
4. Water (you must have a minimum of 1L at the start line)
5. 2 lights (make sure they work) with replacement batteries for both lights.
6. Survival blanket
7. Whistle
8. Adhesive elastic kinesio-tape/band (minimum length of 80cm x 3cm)
9. Food
10. Portable/disposable toilet
11. Waterproof rain jacket with hood
The jacket must be waterproof and be made of a breathable membrane (a water resistance level of at least 10,000mm/cm3 is recommended). All seams must be seam-sealed and the jacket must be able to protect you from harsh weather conditions up in the mountains. Anything not waterproof or non-breathable will be disallowed.
12. Warm clothing – Top: a combination of 3 layers (base layer, mid-layer, and outer layer) that provide warmth. Cotton is not acceptable. Down or fleece is strongly recommended. Rain jackets are acceptable as a outer layer. Bottom: running pants, leggings, or tights that completely cover your legs down to the ankles or a combination of leggings, tights, and long socks are allowed.
13. Shoes – must cover the top of your feet (the tops of your feet must not be exposed)
14. Gloves/mittens (gloves with cut-off fingers not allowed)
15. First aid kit (such as band aids, disinfectant, etc)
16. Insurance (The insurance coverage provided by the race is limited (see “RESCUE & MEDICAL ASSISTANCE” 8) above). If coming from overseas, enrollment in an overseas travel/accident insurance policy is highly recommended as medical expenses in Japan can be very costly without it)
17. 2 racer bibs, IC chip
Racer bibs will be given to you after the gear check. The IC chip is attached to the race bib.
18. Photo identification
19. Small light to put on your backpack at night. (Reflectors/reflective tape that can’t be turned on as well as handheld flashlights that can’t be attached to your backpacks are not acceptable).

Gears checked at Expo :
. Personal cup for hot/cold drinks
. 2 lights : made sure they workwith replacement batteries for both lights.
. Survival blanket
. Portable/disposable toilet
. Waterproof rain jacket with hood
. Gloves/mittens
. Photo identification
. Small light to put on your backpack at night.

I was then given 2 racer bibs, IC chip and 2 free food coupons .

– Gears checked during race :
. Headlights at night.
. Small light on backpack at night.


• Saturday after Expo :

I checked in , Talked with Owner about race and France , he offered me a Coffee
I went out exploring looking for place to eat . There was absolutely nothing opened
Except a sort of Pizza joint which was not recommended by my Minshuku owner
Walked to Starting line , monitoring walking time needed to reach it .
Kept exploring . It’s a Dead fishing Village .
I decided to buy some Instant Udon and Noddles for Dinner with some Veggies
And bread and potato salad for morning .



• Sunday race
I had my alarm clock set at 4am , but by going to bed at 8 Pm the night before I woke up at 2
I had my coffee , started getting ready , dressed up , packed while having food from the supermarket .

Reached to starting line , dropped my bag , lined up to pee at Man’s urinal
While in the line my stomach started moving , I queued again to toilet
20 mn was long enough to upset my stomach – Diarrhea Big time –

I moved to corral with 10 mn left before Start .
A lady was denied racing as she arrived from toilets after Sweepers left !
Clearly for a UTMB qualifier ; not enough Toilets nor Messages in English  … ooopppps !

At 6 am It was chilly but not extremely Cold ..
I was wearing 3 layers out of the 5 I was carrying
After 2 km I dropped to 2 layers until 4 pm
Then it got very windy

There are four cut-off times for the race.
• Race start:  Matsuzaki Town area – Sun. Dec 10, 6:00
• Cut-off #1:  W1 Hozoin Temple – Dec 10, 8:15 (2 hours 15 minutes after start), 8.4km from the start line
• Cut-off #2: A2 Nishina Pass – Dec 10, 14:30 (8.5 hours after start, 43.5km from the start line
• Cut-off #3: A3 Toi Parking Lot – Dec 10, 17:00 (11 hours after start), 54.5km from the start line
• Cut-off #4: C5 Darumayama Resthouse – Dec 10, 18:30 (12.5 hours after start), 61.4km from the start line

The finish line is located at Izu Shuzenji, Izu City. You must meet all of the above cut-off times and make it cross the finish line by 20:00, Dec 10. The overall time limit is 14 hours.

• Sunday race Annoying Facts
– By watching this video : ( credit Naoki S)

( Trail start at around 6mn )

You then clearly understand why Cut-off #1 at W1 Hozoin Temple is at 8:15
2 hours 15 minutes after start, 8.4km from the start line
There are 3 huge Human Traffic Jams bringing runners to complete full stop ,
Took 30 mn to cover 1 km . Twice

If Aid stations had plenty of  Fruits , Food Hot soup and Drinks
THERE IS NO Food for finishers NOT even a Bottle of Water at finishing line , just Paid Food stands ;-(


The trail is nice as most trails in Japan anyway
thus running ITJ as an Official Race with 1500 persons around
even if there are assistance and food support won’t justify paying 40 000 Yen plus …

I have plenty of time in my own hands – I can easily organized my own Trail Runs like 40 ~ 50 km for way cheaper
For the record , Trail running insurance in Japan cost less than ¥ 3000 – or 70 €uros for Worldwide coverage

Will most probably never run it again .