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Hara and Mochizuki Win Second Lake Saroma 100 km Titles

translated and edited by Brett Larner

A total of 3827 people took part in the 30th anniversary Lake Saroma Ultramarathon in Hokkaido on June 28, challenging their own limits as they ran with support and warm cheering from volunteers, local residents of the towns of Yubetsu, Saroma and Kitami, and the runners' friends and family members.

3326 people ran in the 100 km division.  At the 5:00 a.m. start the temperature in Yubetsu was 8.7 degrees, 1.9 degrees cooler than the usual average temperature.  Running the 100 km for the sixth-straight year, two-time Olympic medalist Erick Wainaina (Kenya) addressed the runners in front of Yubetsu Sports Center, telling them, "100 km is a long way, but just stay focused on your own pace and making it to the finish line," before joining them for the race.

501 runners started in the 50 km division from 100 Year Square in Saroma at 10:00 a.m.  For the first time 40 students from Tokyo Nogyo University performed the school's famed Daikon Dance before the start to give encouragement to the runners.  Leader Kyohei Wakuda, 20, commented, "We wanted to help a great local event like this get pumped."

Voices of encouragement also rang out during the race.  One group of volunteers supported runners at a drink station near the 80 km point.  Tokoro H.S. 2nd-year Akiho Takao, 16, said, "I looked each person in the eye when I cheered for them.  I was getting energy from them."

Not all was perfect.  At roughly 11:00 a.m., two runners, one a 47-year-old woman from Sapporo and the other a 46-year-old Tokyo man, sustained minor shoulder and elbow injuries when they were struck from behind by the rear-view mirror of a passing car on National Road 238 near Saroma.  An hour and 20 minutes later at an intersection elsewhere in Saroma, a course marshall, 35, was likewise mildly injured when he was hit by a car.

According to race officials and area police, although the roads used on the course are not closed to vehicular traffic, runners run on the shoulder of the road or on sidewalks.  This year was the first time in race history that participants have been hit by cars.  Both runners who were hit received first aid before continuing on with their runs.

2012 men's 100 km winner Yoshikazu Hara and last year's women's champion Chiyuki Mochizuki both returned for second wins, Hara taking the men's race in 6:35:49 and Mochizuki taking almost 20 minutes off her time last year in 7:36:39.  Seiya Ichihashi won the men's 50 km 3:17:08, while women's 50 km winner Haruki Suzuki ran one of the fastest women's times in event history, 3:34:56.

At the award ceremony Yoshikuni Ochi, 51, was recognized for having completed all 30 editions of Lake Saroma, saying, "At the first running I never imagined this would become such a well-respected event.  I'm glad I could travel this road together with the good people of this region.  I'll be back for the next 20 runnings."

30th Lake Saroma Ultramarathon
Yubetsu, Hokkaido, 6/28/15
click here for results

Men's 100 km
1. Yoshikazu Hara - 6:35:49
2. Tsutomu Nagata - 6:36:39
3. Tatsuya Itagaki - 6:40:33

Women's 100 km
1. Chiyuki Mochizuki - 7:36:39
2. Hisayo Matsumoto - 7:43:16
3. Shiho Katayama - 7:44:31

Men's 50 km
1. Seiya Ichihashi - 3:17:08
2. Yasushi Fukuda - 3:25:27
3. Yoshitaka Okada - 3:28:36

Women's 50 km
1. Haruki Suzuki - 3:34:56
2. Asako Okoshi - 4:10:03
3. Shio Sato - 4:16:09


Nenet Susa said…
Do you have have any examples or article of how he japanese train for the 100km?

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