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Gotemba SDF Base Wins Mt. Fuji Ekiden Offroad Downhill Spectacular

translated and edited by Brett Larner
photos by @Dogsorcaravan

Hitting both the foothills and summit of Mt. Fuji, the 40th running of the Mt. Fuji Ekiden took place Aug. 1 in Gotemba, Shizuoka with the local Gotemba Self-Defense Force Base team winning the overall title.

127 six-member teams including 30 SDF teams took part in this year's 40th anniversary edition.  The 11-stage, 47.93 km course began at JR Gotemba Station, climbing 3258 meters to the peak of Mt. Fuji before descending to finish at the Gotemba Municipal Track and Field Grounds.  The Gotemba SDF Base team covered the distance in 3:47:57, while four teams failed to finish.

Motonori Yamazaki of the Gotemba Municipal Culture and Sports Division commented, "Beginning this year the race's start point has changed from the Track and Field Grounds to the station, so times cannot be compared to past years.  Runners weren't able to see Mt. Fuji from the start point, but the weather was good.  In the morning you could see Mt. Fuji all the way from the summit to the base.  We'll be putting this race on again next year so I hope that many teams will again take part." Next year's edition will take place the first Sunday in August.


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