Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Tsubetsu Koyo 10k Race Report

Hoa and Stephen, who were on a trip to Hokkaido, found a race on the blog and I helped them get registered for it. They sent in a race report. Its a race that I have never been to so I am grateful for their report.

Race report: Tsubetsu Marathon
Oct 1/2017

My husband and I booked a trip to Japan about a month ago. We did not intend to race, but stumbled across Clint's website on running in Hokkaido. There, we found a local race that happened to match our visit. Since we are foreigners from North America and don't read nor speak Japanese, race registration was a challenge. Luckily, Clint translated the information and liaised information to the race director on our behalf. We are so grateful for his kindness. 

It was clear skies, sunny, and a bit windy the morning of the race. Many runners and their families were there. It was a good mixture of school aged children and adults. We were warmly greeted by race officials. Package pickup was seamless. We received a race packet with information about the race, 2 race bibs, pins, number for draw prizes, and a voucher for lunch. The additional race bib was puzzling until we saw others pinning them to the front and back of their shirt. 

After package pickup, there was an opening ceremony to welcome runners and recognize race organizers. We were pleasantly surprised to be recognized as foreign runners and gifted Tsubetsu marathon towels! After a warm up, we were directed to buses that took runners to their designated start line. The race has several distances including 3k, 5k, 10k, and half marathon. We opted for the 10k. 

At the start line, some runners did strides/sprints to warm up, while others chatted with friends. Many of the school children ran in gym uniforms and/or team shirts. An interesting procedure was the roll call before the race. An official called each number sequentially and checked off who was "present". We had a good laugh knowing we didn't know the Japanese numbers being called out, so we looked for bib numbers close to ours and raised our hand on cue!

The race started on time at 10am. It was starting to warm up, but was breezy and the sun was on our back. Runners were instructed to stay on the left side of the road to allow traffic on the right. The route was supposedly a gradual downhill incline, but found it to be mostly flat with minor rolling hills. The backdrop was beautiful. We ran by farmland, surrounded by trees and mountains. Some leaves were starting to change colour.

There was 1 water station around the halfway point (5k). We were pleasantly surprised to see locals watching and cheering along the course! This was particularly encouraging the last stretch towards the finish line. The final 100 metres brought us back to the school grounds, the site of package pickup. A nice touch was the track marked by the various race distances. Upon crossing the finish line, we were given a cold, refreshing sports drink. It was perfect to restore electrolytes and to hydrate. The crowd cheered and some race officials offered their congratulation. 

There were lots of draw prizes. My husband won a food coupon. We chatted with a reporter and some locals as we enjoyed the post race meal of rice curry. Top finishers in each category received certificates and wooden plaques - very fitting as Tsubetsu is known as a leading producer of lumber. To my surprise, I placed in the race and achieved a PR. 

Overall we were very impressed with the race. It was clear to see that the organizers dedicated many hours to make the event run smoothly. We would recommend to locals as well as foreigners looking for something off the beaten path. We are grateful for this wonderful experience and the warm hospitality of this community. 

Hoa & Stephen 

School Grounds

Buses taking runners to their start lines

Lanes running to the goal on the school grounds, one for each distance.

The 10k start line

The locals

A lunch of curry and rice was provided and everyone ate together.

Winners received a wood plaque. 

Sunday, October 1, 2017

Sapporo Half Marathon

Sapporo Half Marathon


(Sapporo marason)

Date: October 1, 2017
Place: Sapporo, Toyohira Riverside
Application period: 6/12 to 7/12.  Very early!

10km , 5km , 3km , 2km , 1km


Monday, August 28, 2017

Tsubetsu Koyo Half Marathon

Enjoy the fall colors of Tsubetsu-cho!

Half marathon
Date: October 1, 2017
Apply by: September 1, 2017

Enjoy the wonderful fall colors of Tsubetsu.  Koyo means "fall colors" in Japanese and is written as 紅葉, or "red leaves".  Buses will take participants to the start and then it is a downhill run from there. This could be the place to get a PB! Buses leave from the Tsubetsu Elementary School play ground.  

Reception from 8:00 to 8:30 am.
Opening ceremony held at the Tsubetsu elementary school play ground at 8:40 am
After the opening ceremony, buses take runners to the start points of each distance.

Lunch is provided (curry) and you can enjoy having the hot meal with the other runners.
1,500 for adults
1,000 for high school and junior high school
700 for elementary school aged participants

You need to fill out the application and take the application fee to the 
Tsubetsu-cho Chuo Kominkan to apply for the race.  

You can bring it to them directly, or you can send it by Genkin Kakitome (現金書留) or Kawase (為替). You should be able to get these at a post office or a bank.
I added text boxes of English to the application form and am attaching the link to this post.
If you do this today, it should arrive on time by Friday, September 1.

Here is the address to send it to.
You can print it out and bring it with you when you mail your application.  

北海道網走郡津別町字豊永5番地1 津別町中央公民館内
TEL:0152-76-2713 FAX:0152-76-2477

Zip 092-0224
Hokkaido, Abashiri-gun, Tsubetsu-cho, Aza Toyonaga 5-banchi 1
Tsubetsu-cho Chuo Kominkan nai
Tsubetsu Koyo Marathon Taikai Jikoiinkai Jimukyoku

You can figure out your birth year in Japanese dates online.  Here is a good link I found.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Bunches of events in September and October!

Month/Day  Event Name  Deadline

9/10 Furano Trail Run and Picnic Deadline 8/18
Site link
10k, 30k

9/10 NAC Trail Run Deadline 8/28
30k, 10k 5k

9/10 Sweet Girl Run Deadline 8/18
For girls only! Looks like a lot of fun!
3k, 5.5k, 10k

9/17 Ohotsuku Half Marathon - Deadline 8/21
3k, 5k, 10k, half

9/17 Mt. Shari Road Race Deadline 8/15
Lots of ups and downs.
1k, 2k, 3k, 5k, half

9/23 Pipaoi Road Race Deadline 8/10
2k, 3k, 5k, 10k, half

9/23  Hokkaido Outdoor Festival in Rusutsu Deadline 8/25
Various trail runs, rogaining, and orienteering events.
50 mile, 60k, 30k, 15k, 5k

9/24 Ohotsuku - Abashiri Full Marathon Deadline 8/31
Course runs along the seaside.
3k, 5k, full marathon

9/24 Mt. Kozan Green Race Deadline 9/6
1k, 3k, 5k, 10k, 20k (two loops of the 10k course)

10/1 Tsubetsu Koyo Half marathon Deadline 9/1, 5k, 10k, half

10/8 Kitami Half Marathon  Deadline 9/8, 5k, 10k, half

10/29  Mokotoyama Fukioroshi Downhill Half Marathon Deadline 9/29
5k, 10k, half

10/29 Food Valley Tokachi Half Marathon Deadline 9/19
2.5k, 5k, half

This event has filled up but it looks like fun.

10/1 Higashikagura BBQ 15k Run
3k, 8k, 15k

Friday, August 4, 2017

Bekkai Pilot Marathon

Bekkai Pilot Marathon

October 1st
Deadline this year is August 7th on
(The first Sunday of October every year)

Full, 5k

Run down the Pilot Road lined with rolling hills and contented cows. Famous for dairy products, you get milk, ice cream and other complementary dairy products at the party the night before. You can also watch the two mascot cows take off at the start of the marathon.

There are only two distances, the full 42.195k and a 5k. At the end of the full, finishers get an extra large beach towel and a whole salmon as their reward. The towel and the salmon are almost worth the 5000 yen entry fee! Not much to do in Bekkai but enjoy the views and the food. It's a beautiful place to run.

You can get all of the details, in detail from this page.

Full Starts 10:00
5k Starts 10:45
Time limit for the full is 5 hours 20 minutes.

Oct. 1st
(2pm to 6pm on the night before.)
Bekkai Choei Rikujyo Kyogijo (The Town Track)

Last call for the full: 9:30-9:45

Time limits:
10k: 11:10(70 min)
20k: 12:20 (70 min)
30k: 13:30 (70 min)
40k: 14:50 (80 min)
Goal: 15:20
Total: 5 hours 20 minutes

Full 5000
5k 2,000

Access: There is bus service from Kushiro to the Race site. Apply by 9/15 to use the bus.
See: Bus Info (Japanese)

Participation prize: Dairy products from Bekkai, certificate of completion, 5k split times for those who completed at least 20km.

Finisher's Prize: Original Extra Large Bath Towel, 1 Bekkai Salmon.
Sorry, 5k finishers don't get a salmon.  If you want the fish, you gotta finish the full!

There are also several nice prizes for the top placers in each category (mens, womens, age).
Add it to your calendar?
Click here to add it to your Google Calendar 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Shikaoi Trail Run

Shikaoi Trail Run


Registration is open!

Date: October 15
Apply by: September 30
30k Adventure, 
13k Challenge, 
5k Enjoy and a 2k Picnic course. 

The staff will keep the bears at bay. Just come with bells on and enjoy the run.

8:30 am Adventure course start and opening ceremony
9:30 Challenge
10:00 Enjoy
10:00 Picnic
13:30 Closing Ceremony

Adventure 3,500, 
Challenge 2,500, 
Enjoy: 1,500 for  adults,  1,000 for Junior High, 800 for Elementary 
Picnic: 500 

Send in your application by fax, email, snail mail, or hand delivery.
Send in your application fee to their bank account below.

Branch number: 
Account type and number: 
普通口座 番号1047907

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Nemuro Seaside Half Marathon

Nemuro Seaside Half Marathon
第1回最東端ねむろシーサイドマラソン ~北方領土を望む~
(dai ikkai saitotan Nemuro shiisaido marason ~ hopporyodo wo nozomu)

A "new" half marathon in Nemuro, home of delicious Hanasaki crab.  This event was originally the Nosappu Cape Half marathon which took runners from the cape on a one way course into the town.  The Nemuro Seaside Half Marathon starts on the edge of town and goes out along the west coast of the cape and back.

When: August 20th, 2017 (Sunday)

Where: Nemuro-shi
Reception and packet pickup held at the Seishonen Center (青少年センター) the evening before from 3 pm to 5 pm  and from 8:00 am to 8:40 am on the day of the event.

Address: Nemuro-shi, Makunouchi 146 banchi 16 (根室市牧の内146番地16; 43.332680, 145.608801)

Start Times:
Half   10:20 am
10k    10:40 am
5k, 3k, 1k  9:30 am

Must finish the half marathon within 2 hours and 50 minutes of the start.
5 km - 37 minutes, 10 km - 1:15 ,  15 km - 1:53,  20 km - 2:40,  Gaol 2:50.

10:57  - 5 km
11:25  - 10 km
12:13  - 15 km
13:00  - 20 km

Due to serious connectivity issues, I have been having a hard time making updates.

Event Website:

If you are in the Obihiro area, you can take a bus to the event and back the day before the event.  A group of runners, many from different local clubs, ride together to the event and most all of them stay together at a Ryokan in Nemuro the night before.  It is a long drive to Nemuro from the Tokachi area so it is nice to have someone else do the driving.  If you are interested in taking advantage of the bus to Nemuro, please let me know by commenting on this post.

Limited information is included in the calendar entries. For more information, leave a comment. I try to post the deadlines for the races. The place where the race is held is also included. You can see where it is by clicking on the map link.