Race Report

RACE REPORT: 6TH HIGASHI TANZAWA MIYAGASE TRAIL RUNNING RACE

Last week was a very special week for me because I was running my first trail race in Japan. It was the 32K trail race of Higashi Tanzawa Miyagaze, which is part of a challenge called NES 2014 within the prefecture of Kanagawa.

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I registered to this race about one month ago when I was still in France. With the move and the new job, I didn’t really looked at the profile of the race before toeing the starting line. I had absolutely no clue that we would cover the entire elevation gain of 1,200 D+ in about 8 kilometers climbing up to Mount Tanzawa.

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We started off on a mountain road at Lake Miyagase. The pace was really fast, and I realized that my fellow Japanese colleagues were looking sharp. We followed this road during 7 kilometers until the first aid station that marked our first steps onto the trail.

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(Source: 第6回東丹沢宮ヶ瀬トレイルレース, 2013)

After one kilometer on a large trail, we began the climb and I started to see some snow on the side of the path. The climb lasted about 80 minutes on a steep single track. I realized that I would need to train way more specifically in the mountain if I wanted to be even more competitive. Anyways, we reached the top of Mount Tanzawa with a nice and cold surprise: quite a lot of snow to my taste!

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(Source: 第6回東丹沢宮ヶ瀬トレイルレース, 2013)

At that point in time, I didn’t feel well because I was too low on calories. Also, I was completely frozen since I was only wearing a short and a tank. Lesson learned: “Always prepare for your race!”

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We then continued with a long and technical descent that loaded my quads. It was really dangerous and slippery, but I enjoyed it all the way. Finally, I made it to the service road towards the finish line where I encountered a few more stairs and hills.

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I finished the race in 03:31:39, ranking 69 out of 708 men and 772 total. I didn’t feel good about my result, but I identified the reasons of my below-average performance: bad race management between the cold and my calorie intake, as well as overtraining during the days leading up to the race.

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Next race will be a 42K trail race with even more elevation gain early June. In the meantime, click here to check out my full GPS track!

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