Friday, September 7, 2012

Saroma Lake 100k Ultramarathon

The Saroma Lake 100km Ultramarathon
Held every year in late June.

100km and 50km divisions.

One of the most popular and celebrated ultra-marathons in Japan.
Run with close to 5000 others around the beautiful Saroma Lake.

Apply by February 11, 2013

Date: June 23rd, 2013
The last Sunday in June.

This is a fantastic event and I can't say enough about it. There are so many people on the course that you are almost never running alone. That alone helps a lot. There is either a water stop or a water and food stop every 2.5km. The support of the other runners and of all the volunteers on the course is phenomenal. This is one of the most famous and well attended ulras in Japan for good reason.

People who have completed this ultra 10 times get preferred treatment. If you are in Japan for the long haul, why not give it a try in 2014 or 2015?

Official Homepage

City of Kitami - in English


Please click on the Saroma label for the most up-to-date information on this race.  Also be sure and check the comments.
Date: June 23, 2013
Application period: Mid January to Mid February.
100k Start 5 am
50k   Start 10 am

Course: It is a mostly flat course at sea level with a few undulations that I wouldn't call "hills" per say around the 80k mark. It takes your from the north side of Saroma Lake down to the southeast side.

You start on the Yubetsu side at the Yubetsu Sogo Taiikukan (Gym) and end at the Tokoro side in Kitami at the Kitami Tokoro-cho Sports Center.

1. Be able to run 100km within 13 hours or 50km within 8 hours.
2. Athletes cannot participate in wheelchairs.
3. Must be at least 18 years old on the day of the event.
4. Foreign athletes can participate in either the JAAF Registered class or the non-registered class.  However, if you are a registered runner with the athletics federation in your own country, you can participate in the registered runners division if you have a certificate showing your current status as a registered runner in your own country.

(I don't know much about registering with JAAF but you don't have to registered with them to run the race.  .)

You must past the following points within the allotted time or you will be asked to remove your bib and get on a bus to be carried to the finish.

5 am Start

Elapsed Time
10 am Start


More information:

1.         You will get your bib number and runner's pack when you check in either the day before or two days before at the reception area at the Yubetsu-cho Sogo Taiikukan Arena.
2.         Aid stations every 5 km with sports drinks, bananas, candy, dried plums (for electrolytes), chocolate etc, Water only spots ever 2.5km
3.         At the 55 km mark, in front of the Hotel Grantia Saroma there will be a rest station where you can have a bag delivered to. You can use this area to change your shoes and clothes etc. There will be changing tents available. Food and drinks and toilets will also be available.
4.         There will be two special bags of different colors provided to put your stuff into. One to be delivered to the finish, and one to be delivered to the rest station in front of the Hotel Grantia Saroma.
5.         Paramedics will be on hand in case of emergencies.
6.         Participants in the 100 km divisions MUST finish reception/check in by either the DAY BEFORE the race or two days before. This is usually done at the start, at the Yubetsu Sogo Tai’ikukan (gym).

Athletes living outside of Japan who want to participate can use their foreign address on the application forms

I will be adding more information and updating this page as time permits and when it gets closer to the application start in January 2013.

To be translated: Schedule for the event Fri thru Sunday.

受付 湧別総合体育館「アリーナ」

受付 湧別総合体育館「アリーナ」

開会式/前夜祭 湧別文化センター「さざ波」
100kmの部スタート 湧別総合体育館
50kmの部受付 佐呂間町100年広場
50kmの部スタート 佐呂間町100年広場
表彰式 北見市常呂町百年広場
閉会式/さよならパーティー 北見市常呂町スポーツセンター


松二 said...

Hi Clint,

I'm runner in Hong Kong and I'm so glad that, finally, there is a place to offer some information about this race in English.

I've a few questions and I hope that you can offer some advice.
(1) What's the different between open class and registered class?

(2) What's the registration procedure? Should I have to do registration through e.g. SportsEntry (

(3) How to get the runner's pack such as bib number, time chip etc?

Lake Saroma Ultramarathon is one of my dream race and I really want to participate the race once in my life. Please help.

Many thanks.


Clint said...

Thanks for visiting the site.

I'm not 100% what a "registered runner" is myself. If you are registered, you are registered with the Japan Association of Athletics Federation (JAAF). Apparently you need to be registered with JAAF to receive certain "official times" that you might need to enter other races. It's a topic I need to look into further.

Open Class - is for any runner over the age of 18 however this race cannot accommodate wheelchairs.

You can register online through I'm not sure if you can use SportsEntry.

You will need a valid credit card to register. I have never tried to register from overseas so I'm not sure that will work. You will probably need to register with to sign up for the race.

The website is all in Japanese.

The application period is from about January 10 to about the end of February however the race filled up by Jan. 27 this year.

Bib number etc
You will have to arrive there to pick up your pack the day before or two days before. The runners packs and bib numbers will be at the Yubetsu Sogo Taiikukan (that's the gym in Yubetsu) in the Arena.

松二 said...


Thanks for your prompt response.

To register with or the race, do I have to provide a "valid" Japanese address in order to receive e.g. confirmation letter or certificate from the organiser? as I don't have a Japanese address.

Actually, I've sent emails to the organiser in order to solve my problems. However, I received no response from the organiser at all.

I believe that the difficulty to join the race is no less than to finish the race for non-Japanese many hurdles to overcome.

Many thanks, again.


Clint said...


I'm not sure if you have to have a Japanese address or not. I'm trying to find an answer to this. All I can say is to give it a try and see what happens. Many of the event organizers have to stuff envelopes by hand so I can imagine that it's possible they would send you the information even though you don't have an address in Japan.
This is, of course, conjecture.

松二 said...


Thanks for your advice.

I've registered an account in by using a "fake" Japanese address and telephone number that obtained from google.

Do you know whether the finisher certificate is delievered by post or downloaded from official website? If it is delivered by post, then I must somehow obtain a valid Japanese address that I can get back the certificate.

Thanks again.


Clint said...


Usually a postcard is sent to your address that you will exchange for your bib number and runner's pack.

So before you apply for a race, you'll have to provide a valid address if you want to get into the race.

As a side note, I have gotten into races where I had forgotten my postcard. In my case these were small races where there were no or few foreign runners. They didn't doubt who I was.

As for the certificate of completion, apparently you CAN download it from

松二 said...

Dear Clint,

I've spent some time to try to find a valid japanese address from friends or friends' friends but in vain (none of them live/work in Japan).

I know it would be a bit odd. But, if I really can't find a valid Japanese address, would you kind enough to allow me to use your address to receive mails/postcards from organiser and then send them to my address in Hong Kong. Of course, I'll pay the full postal rates to you.

Please accept my apology if my request is too inappropriate.

Thank you, and please consider to offer your help.



Clint said...


I am inquiring further to see if you can apply for the race using your over-seas address. When I have a definite answer for you I will reply again here.

This is information that everyone can use.

Clint said...

Too late, I know but I do have an answer. You can indeed apply using your foreign address. However, the race has already reached it's limit of participants this year.

松二 said...

Many thanks, Clint.

I noticed that the race quota was full within one or two days this year.

To me, Application for this race is as difficult as to finish the race.


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.