Races are starting to come back to Japan. Following last weekend's Smile Marathon, the Mt. Kosha Vertical Mile happened Saturday at the Kijimadaira Ski Area in Nagano. 65 men and 15 women raced the 4.5 km trail course climbing 880 m, with more in the junior high school and high school divisions and elementary school students taking on 1 and 2 km courses depending on their ages. To keep people properly distanced, runners started in 15-second intervals by expected finish time, fastest to slowest, according to a starting order published on the race website the day before the race, and scored by individual time.
高社山vertical。— myz塾長 (@MMiyazima) June 27, 2020
In the open men's division, #3 seeded Ryunosuke Omi ran down #2 Naoto Baba and 2019 Skyrunner World Series champ Ruy Ueda to take 1st in 30:22. Ueda held Baba off for 2nd in 31:23, with Baba keeping 3rd by 7 seconds in 32:26. 2019 Trail World Championships national team member Takako Takamura, the heavy favorite in the women's race, was over 5 minutes faster than runner-up Chika Kobayashi, winning in 39:19 to Kobayashi's 44:43. Mikiko Ota was 3rd in 45:25. Complete results available here.
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