translated by Brett Larner
Known as the civil servant runner, marathoner Yuki Kawauchi (27, Saitama Pref. Gov't) spent Aug. 4 doing a round-trip run on a winding course through the Oga peninsula's Mt. Shin, Mt. Moto and Mt. Kenashi to the coast and back. A day earlier he won Oga's Nihonkai Melon Half Marathon in 1:06:28. After rushing through the 20 km out-and-back course through the mountains in less than 3 hours, looking cool and refreshed Kawauchi said, "The trails were easy to run and the view was fantastic. It's a great course."
After praying at Mt. Shin Shrine on Aug. 4, Kawauchi started running on the trail next to the shrine at 9 a.m. Including break times along the way he returned in 2 hours and 54 minutes. Ordinarily it takes hikers at least 5 hours just to go one way on the trail. Nobuhiko Takeuchi, chief priest at the Mt. Shin Shrine, was shocked, commenting, "Even experienced hikers who know the trail well take 3 hours to go one way. It's unimaginable that someone could do the full round-trip journey in under 3 hours."
Kawauchi praised the course, saying, "Lined with ancient trees, the route does indeed have the tranquility and ascetic atmosphere of Shugendo mysticism. Except for a few fallen trees it's an outstanding place for trail running too."